Steve Kerr has now won 3 championships in his first 4 seasons as head coach for the Golden State Warriors. His head coaching career thus far has earned him legendary status, and the organization plans to reward him handsomely.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN has an interesting story about how Kerr is expected to sign a contract extension this offseason to remain head coach.
Kerr signed a five-year deal back in May 2014 that was worth $25 million. He has one more season remaining on that contract.
Joe Lacob said that not only does the team want Kerr back for the foreseeable future, but Kerr also wants to remain with the franchise.
There wasn’t any qualifying or sign of even the slightest doubt in Lacob’s statement. It’s going to get done. The extension will be worked out at some point this summer.
The biggest issue appears to be Kerr’s health, although he has previously said that he was able to manage the lingering symptoms of his back surgery much better this season.
Kerr underwent back surgery in the summer of 2015 and ended up missing the first half of the 2015-16 season as he recovered.
Kerr also missed a huge portion of the 2017 playoffs when the symptoms became unmanageable once again but returned for the NBA Finals that season.
The fact that Kerr didn’t have to miss any time this season is an extremely encouraging sign that that worst of the recovery process is over with.
His credentials merit essentially a blank check from the organization at this point. 3 championships in 4 years are absolutely remarkable.
If he feels as though his health allows him to remain head coach for many years to come, there’s no reason not to finalize the extension.
If symptoms from the back surgery do force him to miss time again, Kerr has assembled a tremendous coaching staff that would step in to mitigate his absence.
Guys like Luke Walton and Mike Brown have filled in admirably during Kerr’s absences in the past, and it’s a testament to Kerr’s ability to surround himself with capable basketball minds.
Kerr helps cultivate a great atmosphere within this organization. Fantastic people want to work alongside him and be a part of something transcendent.
There’s no reason for the Warriors not to want to sign Kerr to the extension. The results on the court these past four years speak for themselves.
It will ultimately be his decision whether or not he feels up to an extension. Long-term health is obviously more important than basketball.
Kerr has proven to be a phenomenal coach, and if he and his doctors are confident that he can handle this lifestyle going forward, this extension is really a no-brainer.