Don’t get me wrong; Luke Walton is a great guy. He won two NBA Championships as a player, he’s the son of Hall of Famer Bill Walton, and one day he can be a real solid coach in the league. He actually did an impressive job against the Pelicans in the season opener.
But the Warriors need Steve Kerr at the helm if they want a shot at repeating and winning the NBA title.
Last season was magical: Steph Curry won MVP, Draymond Green established himself as a force in the league, Klay Thompson set an NBA record when he dropped 37 points in a quarter against the Kings, and some of the most die-hard fans in the NBA finally were able to witness the Larry O'Brien trophy for the first time in four decades.
Now, the Warriors need to build on that but unfortunately it won’t happen unless Coach Kerr is back on the sidelines.
The Warriors were criticized for canning Mark Jackson at first, but as the season progressed and the Warriors raised a trophy in June, the doubters were silent.
Kerr was assisted by Alvin Gentry (offensive mastermind) and Ron Adams (defensive mastermind). Luke Walton was on the coaching staff, but his role was not nearly as big as the three guys aforementioned. With Gentry taking the Pelicans’ position, Walton essentially became the guy to fill his shoes.
While some fans wanted Brian Shaw or Mike D’Antoni to fill the void, the Warriors management was confident in Walton. It’s kind of hard to doubt the front office nowadays too, so it should end up being the right call.
Kerr underwent two back surgeries in the offseason and went through a setback causing him discomfort and is unable to coach the Warriors at their actual games. It’s unfortunate and you wish for Kerr to be 100 percent before he comes back on the court to help the team.
Walton is now the man in charge while Kerr goes on a game hiatus (frequently attends practice). Walton doesn’t have any head coaching experience outside of the 2015 Summer League and now has the task of managing the defending NBA Champions.
On the positive side, the Warriors are a talented, cohesive unit and understand how to win. This lightens the burden off Walton’s shoulders. However, other teams are gunning for the Warriors due to the target on their backs. Everyone wants to give it their all against the team who just won the title, especially the ones who were in the hunt all year long last season.
Walton does not have the experience to outcoach most of teams in the league. Neither did Kerr, but he had an even larger basketball background. Kerr was once a General Manager and he won twice as many rings as Walton. He also had Alvin Gentry by his side every game to help him out and keep him calm under the NBA stress.
The 35-year-old Walton doesn’t have that kind of background and support at the moment. He didn’t come into the year expecting to be the head coach, even if it is on a short-term, temporary basis.
Golden State has a tough schedule to start the season, too. Don’t be alarmed if they start out the first few weeks of the season slow.
Their headman in charge should be back soon and everything will be back to normal. Once again, the blame shouldn’t fall on Walton’s shoulders if the Warriors start the season a step slow. He’s been put in a difficult situation, but the Dubs need their charismatic coach back to continue their title defense.