OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr announced about an hour before Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night that he not only was returning to the bench for the game, but also, he hoped, for the rest of the best-of-seven series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kerr remained in the locker room during Game 1 of the Finals while continuing to deal with pain from a spinal-fluid leak in his back that resulted from multiple surgeries in recent years.
"I'm feeling more like I did at the end of the regular season," insisted Kerr, who said he made the decision to return to the bench earlier in the day. "The intention is tonight and the rest of the series. I wouldn't be in this if I was thinking just one game."
The 51-year-old was on the bench for the first two games of the Warriors' opening-round series against Portland, but turned over the reins to assistant Mike Brown for the remainder of the Trail Blazers series, as well as the four-game sweeps over the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals and San Antonio Spurs in the Western finals.
The Warriors went into Sunday's game with a 13-0 record in the postseason.
Fighting the same back pain, Kerr also missed the first 43 games of the 2015-16 regular season, with assistant Luke Walton compiling a 39-4 record in his absence.