NBA: ‘Premature’ to consider if Walton could coach All-Stars

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton stands on the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (Michael Conroy/AP)

NEW YORK — Steve Kerr wouldn’t be eligible to coach in the All-Star Game. The NBA hasn’t determined if Luke Walton would.

League spokesman Tim Frank says it’s “premature” to address whether the interim coach of the undefeated Golden State Warriors could lead the Western Conference if Kerr hasn’t returned following back surgery.

The coaches whose teams have the best record in each conference following play on Jan. 31 earn spots in Toronto for the Feb. 14 game. But coaches aren’t allowed the honor in consecutive years, a rule that dates to Pat Riley’s dominance with the Lakers in the 1980s, so Kerr is disqualified.

But Walton, who won Western Conference coach of the month for October/November and is eligible to win Coach of the Year even though the Warriors’ 23-0 record is all credited to Kerr, hasn’t been ruled out yet.

Frank says: “At this point, it is unclear when coach Kerr will return to the sidelines. We are more than two months away from All-Star, so it feels premature to address that situation.”

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