SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Warriors coach Steve Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday evening and will be replaced by associate head coach Mike Brown on the bench for Golden State in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Kerr, 56, had been regularly wearing a mask at team headquarters in recent days.
The Warriors said Kerr had just received his result approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes before tipoff at Chase Center. Brown on Sunday reached agreement to become coach of the Sacramento Kings but will stay with the Warriors through their postseason run.
“Obviously the news just broke about Steve Kerr catching COVID. I just want to send him my best. Hope he gets better very soon, rests up,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “The way of the world right now, COVID’s still rampant throughout, so I just want to make sure he’s doing well. I know it’s terrible timing and stuff, but hopefully his spirits are up. Just want to send him a good note there.”
Former Cavaliers and Lakers coach Brown has stepped in on several occasions for close friend Kerr — with experience coaching the playoffs. He went 11-0 guiding the Warriors through postseason games during the team’s 2017 title run while Kerr was out while dealing with debilitating symptoms stemming from complications of back surgery. Kerr returned for Game 2 of the NBA Finals that year.
The 52-year-old Brown helped LeBron James and Cleveland reach the 2007 NBA Finals in his second season before getting swept by the Spurs. He was fired in 2010 after winning 127 games the previous two years but failing to get back to the finals.
After a year off, Brown replaced Phil Jackson with the Lakers and didn’t have nearly the success he had in Cleveland. The Lakers went 41-25 in his first season and he was fired after starting the next season 1-4.
Brown returned to Cleveland the following season and went 33-49 before getting fired again after one season.
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