ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Back before becoming head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr called games on TNT, where he was known in part for his sharp sense of humor. So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that when the Warriors had a recent night off in Chicago, Kerr and his coaching staff spent a night taking in (and taking part in) a show at Chicago’s famed Second City sketch and improv comedy theater.
According to assistant coach Luke Walton, via Diamond Leung at the Bay Area News Group, Kerr went as an audience member but quickly became a performer. And considering Kerr hasn’t actually coached a game this season as he recuperates from offseason back surgery, Kerr’s participation may be looked at as a sign that his recovery is continuing to get him closer to the sideline…
“It’s a great sign,” said Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton, who attended the show with Kerr.
“During one of the intermissions, (cast members) asked if he’d be willing to come up on stage and take part in it. He was good up there too, showing some of his wit and being as engaged as he was. We obviously don’t try to read into anything. Whenever he’s ready, he’s ready, but that’s a good sign.”
The return of Kerr’s dry sense of humor has for months been an indicator to the coaching staff of at least some progression with his health. The on-stage appearance marked a rare public appearance for Kerr, who due to complications from offseason back surgeries has missed the first half of the regular season.
“He was hesitant a little bit about doing it, but I think he thought it’d be good,” said Warriors player development coach Bruce Fraser, a longtime friend of Kerr’s who was in attendance. “He was great. He’s witty. It was more of almost an interview. They were asking him questions that were serious, a little bit more about the team, and they would act out some of the things that came up.”
Fraser said Kerr remains “up and down” with his condition and that the night out after dinner reflects how the head coach is starting to feel better, though not necessarily that he actually is better. Kerr has been more energetic of late, traveling with the team for three of its past four road trips.
“It’s still tough to tell with him because he’s tough,” Walton said. “So even when he’s feeling bad, he still tries. He’s looked good the last couple of days. He really has, so I’m hoping he’s not just getting better at playing the part and that he’s actually feeling better.”