Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton’s record says 0-0. His award says “Coach of the Month.”
Steve Kerr’s substitute as coach of the defending world champions won the Western Conference coaching honor for the first month of the NBA season. Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt received the Eastern Conference’s award.
The Golden State Warriors boast an undefeated record. But because NBA rules credit the head coach of record with wins and losses even when an interim coach takes his place the 35-year-old officially registers a 0-0 record. But the rules governing the monthly coaching award suffer from no such bureaucratic whimsy. So, a 0-0 coach merits recognition as the best in the west.
Kerr recovers from back surgery and an ensuing leak of spinal fluid. “When I feel better,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, “I’ll come back and coach.”
The Golden State Warriors go for 20-0 tonight in Charlotte, home of the only other undefeated team in major North American team sports, when they take on the Hornets. The team’s 19-0 start ranks as tops in NBA history and the 23-game winning streak dating back to last season sits 11 victories away from breaking the all-time NBA mark set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Only that Lakers team and the 2012-13 Miami Heat compiled more consecutive wins in league history.