In every way possible, Steve Kerr has seen it all when it comes to being a basketball lifer.
He played 15 years in the NBA and won five championships. Kerr now is in his eighth season as the Warriors’ head coach, started his coaching career with five straight trips to the Finals and won three titles. He even spent time in the broadcast booth for TNT, and for a handful of years served as the Phoenix Suns’ general manager and president.
Nothing compares to the Warriors’ 2021-22 season. Not in his playing career, not in front of the camera, not in the front office and not his first seven seasons serving as Golden State’s head coach.
“In this particular case with the number of injuries and absences, honestly I’ve never been through a season like this, as a player or as a coach,” Kerr said Sunday ahead of the Warriors’ game against the Washington Wizards. “There’s just been so many different moving parts.
“So I haven’t really been able to draw on any past experiences. It’s moreso just a matter of trying to lean on the veteran guys who have been here and won championships to help mentor the young guys, who are trying to develop and advance at a rapid pace to be ready for the playoffs.
“These last six weeks or so have not been easy after the great start that we got off to.”
James Wiseman, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Warriors, was shut down on Friday. He hasn’t played a single game this season after playing only 39 as a rookie and seeing his season get cut short to a torn right meniscus that hasn’t healed properly. Jonathan Kuminga, who’s only 19 years old, is starting his second straight game Sunday and now is a key piece to the Warriors’ success — something that certainly didn’t seem like it could become a reality at the start of the season. Moses Moody, who also still is only 19 years old, wasn’t getting much playing time early on and now Kerr has admitted how much he already trusts the rookie out of Arkansas.
Steph Curry is set to miss his fifth straight game — with more to come — due to a sprained ligament in his left foot. Draymond Green missed more than two straight months to a disc/back injury and Klay Thompson is about to play his 28th game this season after missing the past two seasons to season-ending leg injuries and didn’t complete his comeback until Jan. 9 of this year.
The three future Hall of Famers have played together for a total of 11 minutes this season.
Andre Iguodala, a possible fourth future Hall of Famer, hasn’t played since Feb. 7. He hasn’t played a full game since Jan. 20 and has been held to only 26 games thus far.
That doesn’t even include other key players like Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II missing time to injuries as well.
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Kerr is hopeful that Iguodala can make his return Monday in Memphis. Curry will re-evaluated on April 1 with hopes that he could possibly play a few games before the playoffs begin. Klay and Draymond are back, but the former is still searching for consistency and the latter is trying to find the same form that had him as the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year when he was healthy.
This season has been a true one-of-one for Kerr and the Warriors, with hopes that it will end with title No. 4 when they’re finally at full strength.
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