While the NBA is hoping it will be able to resume its 2019-20 season that was put on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr is in no rush to return and is already looking ahead to the 2020-21 season.
The NBA season was suspended last month because of COVID-19, which has killed more than 217,800 people worldwide.
“It feels like the offseason,” Kerr said during a Zoom conference call on Tuesday.
“And in fact we had a Zoom call, [Warriors general manager] Bob Myers and I got on a Zoom with our players, our whole roster last week. And it was just a chance to check in, but it was also a chance for Bob to update the players on his contact with the league and the latest news, but it also kind of felt like our annual team exit meeting.
“Our coaching staff and I have been undergoing staff evaluations, offseason plans, so we are absolutely in offseason mode right now.”
Speaking with Warriors president and chief operating officer Rick Welts and University of San Francisco women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi as part of a virtual town hall, Kerr said that with Golden State sitting at 15-50 and at the bottom of the Western Conference, it is tough for his team to be motivated to want to come back and play when they are out of the playoff picture.
“The suspension came at an interesting time and it really made a difference, depending on where your team stood in the standings,” he said.
“So I’ve talked to some of my fellow coaches who are coaching teams that are right in the thick of the playoff hunt. They’re trying desperately to stay in touch with their team, some of them are even doing group workouts on Zoom with their training staff, and they’re trying to find hoops for their players to shoot at where they’re able to do so.
“It’s different for us because we were down to 17 games, but we were out of the playoffs. It feels like the end of the season for our team. It just does.”
The NBA has considered resuming the regular season with teams playing games in isolation without fans, which would ultimately lead to a unique situation for a Warriors team with nothing to play for if their players are forced to play essentially scrimmages in empty gyms.
“We don’t know anything officially,” Kerr said. “There’s still a chance the league could ask us to come back and play some games, but given what we went through this season with all the injuries and the tough record, it’s been more of the case of we’re staying in touch with guys but everybody is just sort of assuming that this is kind of it. We’re not going to be involved much anymore.”