NBA: Golden State have taken a 3-0 series lead over Portland and are just one win away from a series sweep.
AILING Golden State coach Steve Kerr says he won’t be on the sideline for Game 4 of the Warriors’ NBA playoff series against Portland because of symptoms stemming from back surgery.
Kerr stayed behind at the team hotel for Game 3 at the Trail Blazers’ Moda Center with assistant Mike Brown in charge as the Warriors overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to win 119-113 and go 3-0 up in the first-round series. Kerr still experiences lingering symptoms from two back surgeries after the franchise’s run to the 2015 championship.
The reigning NBA coach of the year missed the first 43 games last season dealing with symptoms such as headaches, nausea and an aching neck.
“This is something I’ve been dealing with, but doing OK. Ups and downs but consistently coaching,” Kerr told reporters at the team hotel. “This past week for whatever reason, things got worse. My symptoms got worse.” Kerr hadn’t missed a game this season before last weekend’s game when he also missed the shootaround, and is uncertain about his status for the remainder of the playoffs.
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“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next. I’m not going to do that to our team or our staff,” Kerr said. “We’re hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, I can sort of make a definitive realisation or deduction, or just feel it that I’m going to do this or I’m not.” While refusing to detail the symptoms, Kerr has warned others with back issues against surgery.
”… I can tell you if you’re listening out there, if you have a back problem, stay away from surgery,” he said.
“I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anybody get in there.” Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry says Kerr has the full support of his Warriors as he battles his health problems.
“He’s obviously going through a lot physically and that’s first and foremost for him to take care of himself, make sure he’s on the road to recovery and feeling like himself,” Curry said.
“We’ve got his back, we’ve had certain situations all year, previous years, where players are down and you’ve got the ‘next man up’ philosophy, same with coach Kerr.” The Warriors could be without All-Star Kevin Durant for the third-straight game because of a strained left calf.
Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain), and Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain) could also be out for Game 4.
Originally published as Steve Kerr won’t coach Warriors in Game 4