SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr may add another line to his comprehensive resume. Kerr was formally announced on Monday as the next head coach of the US men’s basketball team, taking over for mentor Greg Popovich.
Kerr said he was surprised and had a chill when USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Grant Hill made the hire official over the phone. The eight-time NBA champion will be the 16th head coach to lead the US men’s team to the Olympics.
“It’s really humbling. People say that all the time, but it’s really humbling when I think about how many coaches have had the opportunity to coach the Olympic team and USA Basketball and what wonderful candidates there are,” Kerr told Chase. said in the center on Monday. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime and I can’t wait to work with all these people.”
Kerr will remain at the helm from at least 2022 to 2024, if he qualifies, leading the US national team to the 2023 Basketball World Cup and the 2024 Paris Olympics. Kerr was part of Popovich’s staff for Team USA’s tough gold medal run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer.
“Sometimes I look at my career and think about how it all happened,” Kerr said, praising the coaches who served as mentors throughout her career, including her coach at Arizona Lute Olsen and the NBA’s Coaches include Lenny Wilkens and Phil Jackson. “I have wonderful people guiding me and somehow the path continues and I’m not going to stop and think about it too much because I’ll wonder how it happened.”
Miami Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra, Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams and Gonzaga coach Mark Few will join Kerr’s staff as assistant coaches, along with Team USA.
“It’s an incredible staff, great experience, and coach Kerr is someone who has achieved success at all levels during his basketball journey,” Hill said of the decision to hire Kerr, one of Kerr’s five as a player. NBA titles, three as a head coach and the experience of staffing the national team made him well qualified for the role.
Hill recently replaced Jerry Colangelo as managing director of the United States basketball men’s national team. During Kerr’s tenure as general manager at Phoenix, he played for the Suns from 2007 to 2012.
“In my opinion, basketball people would agree that he is the ideal candidate for the US national men’s team,” Hill said.
The 2023 Basketball World Cup is a first on the horizon for Kerr as Team USA’s coach, which means he’ll need to start putting together a roster. Experiencing the whirlwind of Olympic competition, Kerr said he understands and can prepare for the challenges that come with developing a team within a six-week sprint — the many months that go into coaching and crafting an NBA team. Much more challenging in comparison.
“Can’t do it in six weeks, so you have to be clear and concise about what you’re teaching and why and you have to do it right,” Kerr said. “Ultimately, it is the ability and talent of the players who make it up or not. It’s our job as coaches to put them in the best position possible to succeed.”
The time he spent as a player, assistant and friend of Popovich has helped him prepare.
“Having the chance to play four seasons for him and work with him, I learned a lot about the game and the people and culture,” he said. “At the Golden State we do a lot of what I learned from pop. But one thing it taught me is that you have to be yourself. You can’t be someone else, you have to be yourself.”