Warriors coach Steve Kerr is ready for some much-needed R&R this week, as he plans to spend the All-Star break in the San Diego area getting away from hoops and out to the golf course.
Golden State has been through a lot in their first 58 games, holding a 29-29 record and the No. 9 seed in the West. Not to mention the franchise shed former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman in a trade for an injured Gary Payton II at the deadline.
Kerr joined 95.7 The Game’s “Damon & Ratto” Wednesday to give his outlook on the second half, as he knows his squad has a lot of work to do in the final 24 games.
“We’ve put ourselves in this position unfortunately,” Kerr told hosts Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto. “It’s where we are. We’re right in the thick of everything, but so are a bunch of teams. We’re gonna have to fight our way through, get to the playoffs and get healthy.”
For the past few days, Kerr has answered a lot of questions regarding the team’s decision to trade away Wiseman, who couldn’t crack his rotation after getting a solid 10-game audition to begin the year. Ultimately, Kerr says, it came down to Wiseman’s development timeline conflicting with the Warriors’ ‘win-now’ mentality.
“Basically it just came down to his inexperience and where we are organizationally, trying to win a championship,” Kerr said. “I know you’ve heard me say that before, but that’s the answer.”
Kerr remained steadfast in his support for Wiseman while also expressing frustration at how the four-team trade went down, as the Portland Trail Blazers reportedly didn’t disclose the severity of Payton’s injury. The Warriors are expected to re-evaluate the explosive guard in a month.
“We needed immediate help, we needed a boost at the deadline and that was one of the reasons for the deal,” Kerr said. “Finding out he was gonna be out for a while was frustrating. But that’s the way it goes. That’s what it is. We gotta find a way to keep moving forward and hopefully get him back at the end of the year."
Golden State is hoping to round into full health for the playoffs, much like they did last year before going on a title run. Steph Curry (leg injury) is expected back sometime after the break and Klay Thompson completed both games of a back-to-back on Tuesday for the first time since 2019.
“It’s gonna be up to the performance staff,” Kerr said. “The fact that they felt comfortable with Klay playing last night, is a good sign that he’s ready for more. I would anticipate that he’s gonna play in more back-to-backs. But, obviously, everything is fluid and we just have to see where he is at any given moment.”