Warriors head coach Steve Kerr suggested on a press call with international media on Thursday that he’d consider the idea of taking a sabbatical from the NBA if the longtime core players of his championship teams – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green – were no longer the roster, according to Leonard Solms of ESPN.
“With the core group of Steph, Klay and Draymond, we’ve been together now almost a decade. If they were not here, I could see [myself] maybe taking a sabbatical,” Kerr said. “It might be refreshing and recharging to do so in some ways, but I love these guys and this team so much and we have this window and I’m not going anywhere for the time being. I want to be with them and continue to coach them [for] the next few years.”
Wary of burnout for both himself and his team, Kerr indicated that he plans to manage the workloads of the Warriors’ top players carefully this season in order to avoid fatigue and to keep them fresh. That could provide an opportunity for young players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to play more significant roles on a more regular basis.
“I think the players will enjoy it, and I know the coaches are excited about it,” Kerr said. “We’re not going to treat it like the NBA Finals — I’m not going to play Steph Curry for 45 minutes because we have to think of the long-term health of our team — but we definitely want to win, and we’re going to be very competitive.”
Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Lakers guard Gabe Vincent has been diagnosed with left knee effusion and will miss at least two weeks of action before being reevaluated, the team announced on Thursday night (Twitter link via Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times). With Vincent unavailable, more minutes should open up for reserve guard Max Christie behind starters D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves.
- In Vincent’s absence, the Lakers will also need more from Reaves, who got off to a slow start this season following a big summer that saw him sign a four-year, $54MM contract and represent Team USA in the World Cup. The club is optimistic that a solid game against the Clippers on Wednesday will be a jumping-off point for Reaves, writes Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times.
- Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd is battling a non-COVID illness and didn’t travel with the team to Denver for Friday’s game, sources tell Marc Stein (Twitter link). Assistant coach Sean Sweeney will be Dallas’ acting head coach for the team’s first in-season tournament game, Stein adds.
- Following a lost rookie season, Thunder center Chet Holmgren is healthy again, and the way he’s playing on both ends of the court has clarified the team’s playing style, according to Zach Kram of The Ringer, who says the big man is also capable of accelerating Oklahoma City’s contention timeline.