The date was May 7, 2014 and the Golden State Warriors were officially on the hunt for a head coach. They had just fired Mark Jackson because of his inability to see eye-to-eye with management and hire the right staff around him. Now, the Warriors brass was looking for someone who would not only keep the organization going in the same direction Jackson had it going in — the Warriors were successful under Jackson — but someone who would do it the way management wanted them to do it.
So, as we now know, the Warriors settled on Steve Kerr. The former shooting wizard turned commentator turned general manager turned commentator (again) was set to turn head coach. This would be Kerr’s first coaching gig and he had a tall task in front of him considering the Warriors aforementioned successful trajectory and the budding talent that was ubiquitous throughout the roster.
And off he went as the Warriors hit the ground running…never mind that…SPRINTING under Kerr. The Warriors went 21-2 to start the 2014-2015 NBA season, which, if they kept up that pace, would’ve won them about 75 games for the full season. Talk about making a splash.
What was it that made Kerr so great? The free-flowing ball movement based offense that he installed. The Warriors began to play a style of basketball under Kerr that made even the San Antonio Spurs — well known for their ability to share the ball — ball movement seem stagnant.
Take a look at this video of the Jackson-led Warriors:
Sure, there are some nice sequences in there and overall the Warriors boast a solid offense, but it’s nothing compared to this:
Have you ever seen that many open looks? It’s as if this happened: Once the core three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green were put together they were essentially a house — think like a gigantic mansion. In that gigantic mansion, there were about 15 doors. And, in order to unlock all the Warriors potential, all 15 doors needed to be unlocked. Mark Jackson unlocked 14 of them but he didn’t have the key to room 15. Kerr did.
Kerr unlocked the Warriors with his installment of his ball-movement offense. He unlocked Curry, he unlocked Thompson, and he unlocked Green.
Kerr turned a young, talented team spewing with potential into one of the most dominant forces in NBA history. The Warriors literally just finished putting together the greatest three-year stretch in regular season history. Don’t believe me?
Warriors regular season record 2014-2017: 207-39
Chicago Bulls regular season record 1995-1998: 203-43
Boston Celtics regular season record 1983-1986: 192-54
Los Angeles Lakers regular season record 1984-1987:189-57
Even the rich have problems, however. Kerr missed the first 43 games of the 2015-2016 NBA season due to complications from a back surgery and while it appeared as though he had regained full health this season, that appearance was apparently just a facade.
Kerr’s back problems have arisen again. He’s missed the past two games for the Warriors this postseason and he’s not sure when he’ll coach next.
Kerr has given so much to the Warriors in his three years with the team that they couldn’t possibly ask for more. But, with Kerr’s future in question, fans will be asking: How much does Coach Kerr have left to give?