While The Last Dance continues to dominate the conversation in many basketball circles, there is still a great deal of uncertainty with regard to the potential resumption of the 2019-20 NBA season. Discussions are ongoing, both in the league office and within the NBA’s 30 organizations, on how things might continue in the coming days but, for at least a handful of teams, the potential for a postseason doesn’t directly apply.
The Golden State Warriors would fall into that category and, in fact, Steve Kerr’s team is the only team in the league that was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention before COVID-19 prompted a league-wide suspension of play. Even with that increased level of certainty on the lack of a playoff future in 2019-20, Kerr likely shared a fairly common sentiment on Tuesday, even if his candor could be surprising.
As part of a Zoom call with Warriors president and COO Rick Welts and University of San Francisco women’s basketball coach Jennifer Azzi, Kerr essentially let the cat out of the bag in saying that, in his mind, the 2019-20 campaign is virtually over.
“We’re staying in touch with guys, but everyone is just sort of assuming that this is kind of it,” Kerr said, via Connor Letourneau the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re not going to be involved much anymore.”
Kerr went on to say that “it feels like the offseason” and he even disclosed that the team’s coaching staff is “absolutely in offseason mode right now.” In addition, Kerr and general manager Bob Myers recently held what was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as meetings that “amounted to exit interviews” with each member of Golden State’s roster.
It isn’t exactly shocking to see Kerr and the Warriors viewing things in this fashion, especially when taking into account the reality that California is still under a shelter-in-place order through the end of May. There are still some individuals within the league holding out hope for a return that would include regular season play but, given Kerr’s sentiment here, it is fair to say that he doesn’t fall within that group. Even if the Warriors end up playing additional games within the 2019-20 season, they don’t have much, if anything, to play for and that, combined with the bizarre nature of the overall situation, has one of the NBA’s most famous coaches operating in “offseason mode.”