Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”

Entering the NBA Finals 12-0 'would be irrelevant' to the Warriors

Entering the NBA Finals 12-0 'would be irrelevant' to the Warriors

SAN ANTONIO -- The Specter of 73 haunts the Warrior still and you can feel it in their dismissive, yes-but responses to being on the brink of yet another entry into the NBA record book.

Though they do not believe their pursuit and achievement last season of an NBA-record 73 wins sabotaged their chances for a championship, it is evident the Warriors came away with diminished appreciation of gaudy numbers.

They can add to their list of shiny accomplishments Monday night. A victory over the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals would make the Warriors the first team ever to open the playoffs with three four-game sweeps and a 12-0 record.

“My wife asked me this morning: What if you guys win and you’re 12-0?” general manager Bob Myers told NBCBayAreaSports.com Monday afternoon. “Well, for me, the record thing kind of got screwed up last year.”

Yes, the record thing. The Warriors chased 73 and got 73 and yet they’ll be known just as much, if not more, as the first team to blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

“It’s all about 16,” Stephen Curry told NBCSportsBayArea.com.

Getting to 16 wins in the postseason means getting to the top. Winning it all. The very thing the Warriors did not accomplish a year ago.

They are one win away from being three-quarters of the way there.

“Going 12-0 sounds great,” Curry said. “But it probably would have happened if the Lakers would have played a seven-game series to start the run through the playoffs.”

The Lakers twice swept their first three postseason series -- in 1989 and 2001 -- but in both instances the first round was best-of-five. Both streaks ended at 11 in a row.

The Warriors seem to view numbers as decoration, ancillary components to the primary. They may have felt that way all along, but going through what they did last season, losing The Finals to the Cavaliers, provided an acute sense of context.

“It’s unfortunate that we put so much into the last game of the season, or winning the whole thing because there are a lot of things that we, as an organization, should be proud of no matter what happens,” Myers said. “But it’s hard, knowing where were last year, to see that regular-season record and then not win the championship. It’s a mixed feeling.

“So when you talk about records and numbers and things like that, and you know what it’s like to win a championship and you know what it’s like to lose, it’s hard to put them in proper perspective.”

The Warriors have made it clear they are less than impressed with their average victory margin of 16.5 points through the first 11 games in these playoffs. The record is 14.5, set by the Bucks in 1971.

They’re not buying into the hype generated by leading all playoff teams in points per game (117.4) and field-goal percentage (49.7) and field-goal percentage defense (41.6).

Numbers. Just numbers. Like, for example, 73.

“To know that we have a great regular-season record and a tiny little banner in our practice facility, “ Myers said, “it doesn’t feel like it should.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say it doesn’t mean anything. But it’s hard to really understand what it means right now. And knowing that we’ve been in the midst of all these numbers and records and road-win records and things like that, you get lost in it in good and bad ways. It’s fantastic, but also what does it mean? Because what we’re really trying to do is win a championship.”

Which, of course, comes back to numbers.

“You can learn lessons in winning and you can learn lessons in losing,” Curry said. “It’s just a matter of how you respond from game to game. But 12-0 would be irrelevant come next series.”

Kerr playing waiting game after latest procedure, but is on 'path to recovery'

Kerr playing waiting game after latest procedure, but is on 'path to recovery'

SALT LAKE CITY -- There remains no definitive time frame for the end of Steve Kerr’s chronic pain, which the Warriors coach concedes has taken an immense physical and emotional toll.

There is, however, at least momentary reason for optimism.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Sunday that Kerr underwent a procedure designed to provide relief from the debilitating symptoms that two weeks ago forced him to take an indefinite leave from his job.

Though Warriors CEO Joe Lacob indicated Friday that Kerr had the procedure on Thursday, Myers said it was Friday. In either case, the search for resolution to the pain resulting from a spinal fluid leak is not yet complete.

“It’s hard to answer some of this because even the doctors aren’t entirely sure of recovery time,” Myers said in an impromptu news conference at the team hotel. “And that’s why we’ve been a little bit indefinite about everything, because we don’t know.

“But the procedure went well, as far as we know. Now it’s a case of how it takes and when he might or might not be back. The good news is it’s on the path to recovery. But I wish I could be more definitive.”

After initially consulting with staff at the Stanford Medical Center, and also undergoing tests there, Kerr traveled on Thursday to Duke University Spine Center, a place he had visited on at least one previous occasion.

The surgery, according to Myers, was “similar” to previous procedures.

Assuming the procedure was a success, Kerr conceivably could return within a week, according to team sources. Lacob, in an interview with Bloomberg Radio, said he hoped it would be sooner rather than later.

“I’m optimistic about his recovery,” Myers said. “I don’t know what that means, ‘sooner than later.’ You could decide what sooner or later means. It honestly is one of those things where everybody’s body reacts differently. He obviously had an adverse reaction two years ago.”

After experiencing considerable back pain for nearly a year, Kerr underwent surgery in July 2015 and again in early September, the second procedure to address what went wrong with the first.

So began his odyssey of misery. He took a nearly four-month leave of absence, beginning with training camp in 2015, returning in January 2016. Though he felt he had improved to the degree he could resume coaching, the pain never went away.

It took a turn for the worse last month, forcing Kerr to the sideline.

“Most of the people who’ve gone through this deal with it for a few weeks or a few months,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com on April 24. “It’s been 19 months, and I don’t have any idea when it will end.”

Kerr at that time expressed confidence that if doctors could isolate the precise source of the leak, they’d be able to fix it. Even with this latest procedure, it’s still a waiting game.

“I wish I could say that we had some kind of solution and we were progressing and I could say he’s going to be back,” Myers said. “But we just can’t say that right now.”