MILWAUKEE — Just as the seats next to Steve Kerr began to stabilize, the Warriors coaching staff on Thursday took another hit.
Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson entered health and safety protocols, Kerr said, leaving Golden State down an assistant for its game Thursday night at Milwaukee and likely the rest of the road trip. The undermanned staff has become more common than not as the season hits its halfway point.
For the first time since October, Kerr had his full complement of coaches with him Sunday against Miami.
And just like that, after two games and one COVID test, the Warriors were shortstaffed again.
“It’s a big loss. I just feel terrible for him,” Kerr said before tipoff. “Very frustrating for us as a staff because he’s a huge part of what we do.”
Atkinson, who joined the Warriors staff before this season, suffered a leg injury that kept him off the bench for the majority of the year. He attended a coaches’ meeting in-person for the first time at the end of November and was finally cleared to coach in-person for Golden State’s Dec. 23 home game against Memphis but still could not travel.
As soon as Atkinson returned, on Dec. 23, two other Golden State coaches — Mike Brown and Chris DeMarco — entered health and safety protocols. Brown returned Jan. 3, giving Kerr his top two assistants against Miami for the first time since October. But DeMarco, who will slide into Atkinson’s seat at the front of the bench Thursday, didn’t return until the following road trip, which Atkinson wasn’t yet cleared to join.
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Almost three months after the leg injury, Atkinson rejoined the Warriors for the first time away from home on this trip, which started Tuesday night in Memphis. By Thursday, he was forced away from the team again.
“The guy can’t catch a break,” Kerr said.
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports
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