Chronic Back Pain Forcing NBA Coach Steve Kerr To Sidelines During Playoffs

Steve Kerr

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is out indefinitely and could miss the rest of the NBA playoffs because of lingering complications from back surgery that sidelined him last season, he said on Sunday.

Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown took Kerr’s place as Golden State took a 3-0 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night, and Kerr said on Sunday that he would miss Game 4 on Monday while leaving open the possibility that misses the entire postseason.

“This is not going to be a case where I’m coaching one night and not coaching the next,” Kerr said in a press conference. “We’re hoping that over the next week or two, whatever it is, I can sort of make a definitive realization, deduction or just feel that I’m going to do this or I’m not.”

In the summer of 2015, after his first season as a head coach resulted in a championship, Kerr underwent back surgery and suffered from complications that left the former NBA player in chronic pain. The 51-year-old Kerr effectively managed his pain this season, he said, but his symptoms returned in the past week.

Kerr admitted last December that he tried using medical marijuana for his symptoms after not having success with doctor-prescribed opioids, but said he found minimal relief and his body didn’t respond. However, he remains in favor of medical marijuana and believes NBA player should be permitted to use it.