Mike Brown, second in from right, was on San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s staff when Steve Kerr was still a player. Popovich couldn’t help himself from making jokes at both of their expense before Tuesday’s season opener. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Mike Brown, second in from right, was on San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich’s staff when Steve Kerr was still a player. Popovich couldn’t help himself from making jokes at both of their expense before Tuesday’s season opener. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Pop guides Steve Kerr in filling vacancy, where to urinate

Last season opener, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was unable to man the sideline as he recovered from back surgery.

That left then-assistant Luke Walton at the helm. Walton led the team to a 24-0 start, which — in part — earned him the head coaching gig for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Kerr filled that vacancy with Mike Brown, former head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lakers.

Kerr’s use of assistants has evolved over the years: A few years ago, Alvin Gentry took over the offense, and Ron Adams served as a so-called defensive coordinator. Now, Brown fills in and helps where he can.

“Now that we’re two years in, we really have established our style and who we are,” Kerr explained before the game on Tuesday. “So it’s more about Mike sort of adapting to us, rather than vice-versa.”

Kerr’s early progress report is positive as he’s helped tweak the Dubs’ offensive systems.

Brown’s role was a little different when he worked for Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs in the early 2000s.

“He kept [former Spurs and Warriors swingman] Stephen Jackson away from me, because I did not want to talk to him,” Popovich joked.

Once Pop removed his tongue from his cheek, he admitted that Brown has a mind for basketball and will be a great addition to Kerr’s staff. That is, only after letting slip that Brown will regularly have “17 options for one play, and 14 of them don’t work, so Steve will have to figure out which one works and grab that and add it to the system.”

Popovich and Brown coached Kerr during the Warriors coach’s final playing days. When Kerr was vetting possible replacements for Walton, Popovich reiterated his belief in Brown as a worthy addition to any staff.

So Brown was introduced over the offseason and will be expected to help with finding the elusive winning combinations to help the Dubs maintain scoring while Stephen Curry rests.

Despite everything he’d said earlier about helping his former study during the offseason, Popovich reverted a few minutes later to his default mode: cracking jokes.

“I hate Steve Kerr,” he said. “If he asks me anything, I tell him to go urinate in a bucket. You can quote me on that.”

Because when it comes to coaching and answering questions, in the NBA, there’s no one better than Pop.Golden State WarriorsGregg PopovichMike BrownSan Antonio SpursSteve Kerr

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Recology executives have acknowledged overcharging city ratepayers. (Mira Laing/2017 Special to S.F. Examiner)
Recology to repay customers $95M in overcharged garbage fees, city attorney says

San Francisco’s waste management company Recology has agreed to repay its customers… Continue reading

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Settlement clears path for all youth, high school sports to resume in California

John Maffei The San Diego Union-Tribune All youth and high school sports… Continue reading

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

Most Read