Brown, Kerr in ‘constant communication’ ahead of Game 5 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
You can take the coach out of the sport. But you can’t take the sport out of the coach.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr missed Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals and will likely miss Game 5 in Memphis as well after testing positive for COVID-19 and being placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
But just because Kerr hasn’t been able to physically be there with his squad, his presence has still been felt from miles away.
Assistant coach Mike Brown has stepped up and served as acting coach for the Warriors. I have coached the Warriors through a sloppy and emotional win on Monday night.
Brown says he and Kerr have been in constant communication, and that won’t change for however long Kerr is out, which has not yet been determined.
“He’s got COVID so it’s up and down,” Brown told reporters on Tuesday. “I do not know when he’ll be back, or his availability of him, [but] we’re always in communication. We’re always in constant communication. We were at halftime, during the game last night, after the game, this morning, we had a staff meeting, he was a part of the staff meeting so he’ll be a part of this thing throughout the whole time he’s out.”
Brown said he got to check up on Kerr Tuesday afternoon, noting he looked “comfortable” as he was catching up on some Eastern Conference playoff basketball.
While Kerr stayed at home in the Bay, the team is in Memphis getting ready to close out the series on Wednesday.
Golden State leads the series 3-1 and will take on a Ja Morant-less Grizzlies team facing elimination.
But even without their star player, who was listed as doubtful to play in the rest of the playoffs due to a bone bruise in his knee, Brown says the Warriors aren’t approaching the game any differently.
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“You don’t wish injury upon anybody,” Brown said. “So it’s tough for him as an individual, he seems like a great person from Afar, but I don’t really know him. It’s tough for his family, tough for the organization, tough for the city of Memphis and his team. Again, you don’t wish that upon anybody but we have to stay focused, stay locked in and understand that no matter who they put out on the floor, they’re more than capable of beating us. They went 20-5 without him in the regular season so we have to have that appropriate fear in order to get over the hump. So you feel bad for him personally but we also have to stay locked in the same breath.”
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