OKLAHOMA CITY – When Luke Walton decided three weeks ago to leave his post as assistant coach for the Warriors to become head coach of the Lakers, Steve Kerr said he had no idea where he would turn for a replacement.
He does now, and the Warriors coach is moving into the interview process.
After telling CSNBayArea.com on Sunday that he has compiled a “short list” of candidates to become his top assistant, Kerr later announced the list includes Charlotte Hornets assistant Stephen Silas.
Kerr and Silas plan to meet here on Monday, between Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Thunder.
One reason for the added urgency in this case is that Silas reportedly is a candidate to become the head coach in Houston.
“Normally we would wait,” Kerr said in a news conference 90 minutes before Game 3 tipped off on Sunday. “But because he’s got other interests, we felt like time was of the essence. So we’ll visit with him.”
Silas earlier spent nearly five seasons (2006-10) with the Warriors under Don Nelson during the “We Believe” era. The son of former NBA player and coach Paul Silas – who is a graduate of McClymonds High in Oakland – earned a reputation for building relationships with players, notably headstrong team leader Baron Davis.
“He was great with the players,” said CSN Bay Area analyst Kelenna Azubuike, a member of the Warriors for most of that period. “He’s a good communicator, smart and really knows basketball.”
Stephen Curry is the only member of the current Warriors to have been a player under Silas. Curry has credited Silas with formulating the elaborate pregame ritual that has evolved into its own show.
Silas, who has been a member of the Charlotte staff since 2010, has been an NBA assistant for 16 seasons. In addition to the Warriors and Hornets, the Brown University graduate also has worked for the Cavaliers and Wizards.
In the weeks since the Hornets were ousted from the playoffs last month, Silas reportedly has had several other interviews, including most recently two interviews for the vacant head coaching spot in Houston.
Silas coached the Warriors’ Las Vegas Summer League team in 2010.