“I would never have gotten into the NBA without a family connection,” Nicholas Kerr told the Mercury News.
Instead of defending himself from criticism, the younger Kerr is embracing them.
“I don’t blame anyone for saying I have privilege, they’re right,” Kerr told the Mercury News. “… I had not even a crack in the door, I had the door wide open for me.”
But while the younger Kerr’s honesty was refreshing, his predecessor quickly defended his protege.
“If anything, it honestly might’ve worked against him,” Warriors director of player development Seth Cooper told the Mercury News.
Cooper revealed Kerr was chosen among a dozen applicants because of his familiarity with the Warriors’ system.
“You look at a guy who might’ve spent time on the Golden State staff in the video and player development world and then was an assistant coach, and last year, [the] top assistant with us in Santa Cruz, that person — with the natural progression — would become a head coach,” Cooper told the Mercury News.
Nicholas Kerr’s Coaching Path
While his father handed him the keys to the NBA door, the younger Kerr worked his way inside to get to where he is now.
After his college basketball career ended, he spent one season as a graduate assistant at the University of California-Berkeley, where he also played his final year after three years at the University of San Diego.
He moved to the NBA, initially with the San Antonio Spurs as a quality assurance assistant in the 2017-18 season. He eventually ended up with the Warriors the following season as assistant video coordinator after he found himself in an awkward situation when the Spurs and Warriors met in the playoffs.
Two seasons later, he was promoted to co-video coordinator and player development assistant. Then, his big break came during the COVID-19 pandemic when he was assigned as an assistant coach with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the bubble.
“Ever since I first met him, you can always tell that he really cared about it, worked hard at it and wanted to get better and learn,” Cooper told the Mercury News. “Definitely wasn’t taking any shortcuts to being a coach.”
Last season, Kerr became Cooper’s top assistant coach in the G League. That role, which includes managing the rotation and substitutions and helping handle Warriors’ two-way players on assignment in Santa Cruz, prepared him for the head coaching job.
Steve Kerr’s Rousing World Cup Debut
Steve Kerr piloted Team USA to a convincing 99-72 victory over New Zealand Saturday in Manila, Philippines to open their gold medal bid in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Kerr had to shake off the American’s slow start after the Tall Blacks zoomed to an early 14-4 lead. His adjustment from drop coverage to switching schemes with the second unit enabled Team USA to overhaul the deficit and seize control of the game.
Kerr has an All-Star supporting cast with fellow NBA champion coaches Erik Spoelstra of Miami Heat, Ty Lue of the Los Angeles Clippers and Gonzaga coach Mark Few, the third-fastest coach to reach 500 wins in NCAA Division I history.