Steve Kerr is expected to return to the Golden State Warriors’ sideline after the team won its second NBA championship in three seasons under Kerr’s direction on Monday night, Warriors general manager Bob Myers confirmed.
Golden State locked up its fifth title in franchise history with Monday’s 129-120 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
Kerr, 51, missed Game 1 of the Finals and 11 total playoff games this year as he dealt with health issues stemming from multiple back surgeries. Warriors assistant and former Cavs coach Mike Brown filled in during his absence.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that (Kerr) will return as the coach of this team,” Myers told ESPN. “I’m confident we’ll have him back. Steve will be our coach.”
Kerr was hired as the Warriors’ coach on May 19, 2014 and guided the team to a 67-15 regular-season record and an NBA championship in 2014-15. Kerr’s team set an NBA record for regular-season wins with 73 last season and returned to the Finals, but lost to Cleveland in seven games.
Kerr won the NBA’s Coach of the Year Award for the 2015-16 season.
Golden State went 67-15 this season in locking up the top seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors won a league-record 14 consecutive games during this year’s playoffs and went 16-1 overall in the postseason.
Overall, the Warriors are 207-39 during Kerr’s tenure as coach.
“Winning is fantastic. I’ve been so lucky to be part of so many championship teams as a player and now as a coach, and it never gets old,” Kerr said after Monday’s win. “But tonight was a little different, just based on the things I’ve had to go through during this time.”
As a player, Kerr won five championships and was a member of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team led by Michael Jordan that won a then-league-record 72 games and beat the Seattle SuperSonics in the Finals.