<
>

Coach Steve Kerr possible to return in NBA Finals, sources say

Steve Kerr looks better than he has since he took a leave of absence during the Golden State Warriors' first-round playoff series, and there's a chance he will coach at some point against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Acting Warriors coach Mike Brown, speaking Wednesday to ESPN's Michael Wilbon, said he didn't know whether Kerr would return Thursday night for Game 1 and that the team wouldn't know until closer to the 9 p.m. ET tipoff.

"He's talked about possibly coaching Game 1 ... and I even tried to tell him, 'Steve, you should do it ... and if you don't feel like you're OK, halfway through the game, just go back in the back,'" Brown said.

Brown, in an interview to air Thursday night on ESPN's NBA Countdown, said that he would be ready to take a step back if Kerr did return.

"We have a veteran team. I don't think it will jolt our guys at all. I know it wouldn't jolt me," Brown said. "You know, I understand that that's my job. But Steve is so conscientious about the players -- and you know the storyline and all these other things -- that he wants to make sure that he feels good enough to come back and do it on a full-time basis and not rock the boat with anyone or not cause a distraction from our team. And I respect that. I'm OK with it however it happens."

Kerr had said Monday that his status remained "up in the air" but that he expected a final decision to be made shortly after Game 1, if not before. Golden State general manager Bob Myers has said he is open to Kerr returning when healthy, regardless of how deep the Warriors are in the Finals.

Kerr took the leave between Games 2 and 3 of the opening round against the Portland Trail Blazers to find a remedy for the migraines and nausea he has experienced stemming from back surgery almost two years ago.

Earlier this month, Kerr visited a specialist at Duke to undergo a procedure to repair a spinal fluid leak. Since then, he has had his good and bad days, he said.

Information from ESPN's Chris Haynes was used in this report.