Though it has been a physically challenging summer for Warriors coach Steve Kerr, not a day has passed without him finding a grin at the thought of life atop the NBA.
It hasn’t always been easy – the coach is recovering from back surgery – but the Larry O’Brien Trophy shines just as bright in September as it did when the Warriors claimed it on June 16 in Cleveland.
“It’s something I think about every day,” Kerr said by phone Tuesday night. “It’s something that most players and most coaches never get to experience.”
The Warriors hadn’t experienced a championship since 1975. Kerr was in elementary school. So were the parents of some of the players on his current roster. How rare is it to win an NBA title? The last 35 championships have been divided among 10 teams.
“I’m happy for everybody in the organization,” Kerr said. “It’s really exciting when you consider how hard it is to do and the fact that we’ve done it and now we’re in a position to try it again. It gives us a deeper level of confidence going into this year and beyond.
“But it also sets us free a little bit. Most players, most teams live with the burden of not winning the big one. We don’t have to live with that.”
That said, the shortest offseason in Warriors history ends in 20 days. When camp opens on Sept. 29, Kerr and his staff must grapple with the challenge of finding symmetry between historical achievement and naked pursuit of another title.
“The short offseason is the curse of the championship team,” Kerr said. “But it’s something you welcome with the payoff.
“There’s a fine line between being satisfied and wanting more. We need to walk that line. We want to want more. We also want to be satisfied with what we did last year. But it’s a new year. We want to do it again.”
As for that troublesome back, Kerr says he’s on the mend and should be fine by the time training camp gets under way.