It was another celebration of sorts for the Warriors on Monday night at Oracle Arena. They beat the Charlotte Hornets 111-101 for their 35th consecutive regular-season win at home, and the victory also raised Golden State’s record to 32-2, which is the best start of any team in NBA history.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had 30 points apiece, and Draymond Green had his third straight triple-double – not done by a Warrior player in more than 50 years.
More good news was that Harrison Barnes made his return from an ankle injury and looked no worse for the wear. It’s a great time to be a Warrior or Warrior fan these days.
But lost amid the glee was something Luke Walton said before the game, when he was asked about the status of coach Steve Kerr.
“He’s the same,” Walton said. “Good days and bad days, but not yet ready to coach.”
But that’s not where we were a week ago. In fact, there were plenty of indications – and reports – that Kerr was targeting a return against the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 2.
In the days leading up to Saturday, GSWFastbreak, which is the Golden State Warriors’ fan blog, tweeted this: “I’m hearing that Steve Kerr is targeting Saturday’s game for his return to the Warriors bench. Contingent on feeling good after the road trip.”
If that tweet was accurate, then it’s only fair to assume Kerr may have suffered some kind of setback. Of course, since the Warriors have never put any official timetable on Kerr’s return, it would be impossible to call it that.
It sure seemed, though, Kerr was getting closer. Now, we don’t know if that’s the case. Over the past seven to 10 days, Kerr appeared to be taking a more active role with the team.
On Dec. 28, Kerr addressed the Warriors at halftime of their victory over the Sacramento Kings, then accompanied the Warriors on their two-game Texas road trip to Dallas and Houston.
During the Warriors’ time in Houston, Walton was asked about the possibility of Kerr returning on Jan. 2. “Obviously, it’s a possibility,” Walton told ESPN. “He hasn’t said he’s going to. To be honest, I don’t think he knows yet. I think that’s part of why he’s on this road trip, to see how his body handles the travel and getting into Houston at 1 a.m., tonight to turn around and play again then get on another plane and fly home and get in late again. So that’s part of why he’s here on this trip, whether or not this weekend is a realistic return or not.”
Apparently, it wasn’t. And Kerr did not accompany the team to Los Angeles for tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kerr is suffering from complications of offseason back surgery, after spinal fluid leaked into his body during the procedure. Kerr had a corrective surgery on Sept. 4, but afterwards said he was suffering “headaches and other symptoms.”