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Steve Kerr says he may not coach the rest of the playoffs because of 'discomfort and pain' from back surgery 2 years ago



Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr gave a surprise press conference on Sunday, announcing he's unsure of his status going forward in the postseason.

Kerr missed the Warriors' Game 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, with assistant coach Mike Brown coaching the team in his absence.

On Sunday, Kerr announced his absence was related to lasting pain from back surgery he had in 2015, shortly after the Warriors' championship win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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A look at Steve Kerr
June 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr speaks to media following the 93-89 loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers following game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr watches from the sidelines during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 19: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors shouts to his team during their game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 19, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 05: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 5, 2017 in New York City. The Warriors defeated the Knicks 112-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 16: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks with his player Stephen Curry #30 during an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic at ORACLE Arena on March 16, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 16: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks with the press after the game against the Portland Trail Blazers during the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2017 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Head coach Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors get ready before the game against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on February 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 6: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks with Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors during the game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 6, 2017 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Kevin Liles/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 4: Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors coaches against the Sacramento Kings on February 4, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 04: Head coach Steve Kerr and Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors talk with each other while there's a break in the action against the Sacramento Kings during an NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on February 4, 2017 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 2: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors reacts from the bench during second half of the basketball game against Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center February 2 2017, in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - FEBRUARY 4: Head Coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on February 4, 2017 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
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"This past week, for whatever reason, things got worse, my symptoms got worse, and I was not able to coach" said Kerr, who missed the start of the 2015-16 season due to chronic pain as a result of the surgery. "The last few days have been difficult ... I was uncomfortable at practice the other day, and with things getting worse, I just made the decision I couldn't coach."

Kerr said he's consulting doctors and hoping for improvement, but said he will not return to the sidelines unless he's feeling better.

"If I can get some improvement, I'll get back on the sidelines, but I'm not gonna do that unless I know I can help the team," Kerr said. He will not coach Game 4, he added.

While Kerr wouldn't specify the recent afflictions, saying only that he felt "discomfort and pain," he did say that he would tell anyone suffering from back pain not to get back surgery.

Kerr has only briefly opened up about the aftermath of his surgery in the past. ESPN's Ramona Shelbourne reported in 2016 that Kerr was suffering from debilitating head aches after the surgery, which held him out of the beginning of last season. Kerr made headlines late in 2016 when he said he experimented with medicinal marijuana to try to relieve the pain.

For now, the Warriors may be without their head coach for the remainder of the season, which could matter down the line if they continue to advance deep into the postseason.

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