The Golden State Warriors got off to the best start in NBA history, winning 24 straight before losing their first game.
Partly lost in the dominant start is that they did it without Steve Kerr at the helm as he recovers from two offseason back surgeries.
The Warriors announced in training camp that Kerr would take a leave of absence, leaving assistant coach Luke Walton in charge.
Following up a 67-15, championship season would be hard enough, but helping the Warriors get off to the best start ever was something nobody saw coming.
So, when the Warriors finally lost, a 108-95 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks, Kerr told Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News that he had to let Walton hear about it.
“I thought we’d go 25-0 to be honest with you,” Kerr said. “I sent (Walton) a text after the Milwaukee game; I said, ‘What the hell are you doing? You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?’ Joking!”
Kerr then actually praised Walton, saying:
“I figured the first part of the season would be tough. And I was hoping we would just win enough games where he could get his feet wet and not have to worry about anything. And lo and behold he wins his first 24. He’s done a great job. He’s a quick study and has such a great personality and feel.”
Kerr isn’t sure when he’ll be back, but as the Warriors return to California for a two-week homestand, he’s hoping to get a clear idea of when he can return to the sidelines.
In the meantime, Walton is handling the best team in basketball like a veteran. Walton was rumoured to be in the running for the Knicks’ coaching job two years ago before the Knicks hired Derek Fisher — oddly, Kerr was the front-runner for the job — and after this impressive start, will surely get some opportunities to be a full-time head coach in the future.
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