For those of you that do not know, the Golden State Warriors are currently making history. They have started off the season with a record of 19-0, something that has never been done in the NBA.
While there has been nothing but success so far for Golden State this season, there is one thing in particular that every one is talking about — in the end, who gets credit for the amazing start this team has done coaching-wise, Steve Kerr or Luke Walton?
It was announced this past summer that Steve Kerr was having two different back surgeries and would be unable to travel with the team and coach on the sideline. As a result the Warriors named assistant coach Luke Walton the interim head coach for the time being. Walton has done great for this team, as stated earlier he has been part of the Warriors’ 19 straight opening wins. The question comes into play is, do the wins count towards Walton’s coaching record. Here is what league officials have stated about the situation.
“…the head coach of record is credited with team wins and losses. Steve Kerr remains the head coach of record for the Golden State Warriors and is credited with those results. Additionally, any team head coach, interim head coach or acting head coach is eligible to be recognized with league coaching awards. Therefore, Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton is eligible for NBA Coach of the Month.”
It is great to see that the league will still recognize what Walton has done by naming him the November Coach of the Month. However I do think that in the end Walton should get credit for those wins and future games while Kerr is out.
I can see the argument for Kerr still getting the wins, he did set the so far successful format of this team in the offseason. But things change during the course of the season. Some nights your original plan before the game can be thrown out of the window within a matter of minutes. Luke Walton has held a tight ship with this club showing no signs of the team falling apart. Even though the wins do not count for him, I think he has made a case for becoming a full time coach in the near future.
Luke Walton has done very well in Kerr’s absence, showing ability to coach a very good team and that he can make mid-game adjustments while keeping the Warriors going in the right direction. There is still no specific time on when Steve Kerr will be back, and eventually I believe that the wins will start counting towards Walton.