Kerr is a serious coach — he has a pile of busted clipboards to prove it. But he’s also the guy who can laugh in the heat of battle, who will put a friendly hand on the shoulder of a ref, who demands that his players have fun. His personal vibe is in tune with San Diego, where people are serious about kicking back.
The good news: Kerr can still laugh. The laugh is important. It is a vital piece of his personality, it punctuates his speech and puts people around him at ease. For the past two years he has experienced chronic headaches in the wake of back surgery, and he laughs less often. But it’s still there.
The headaches caused him to sit out the first half of the 2015-16 season, and last season he stepped away from coaching for 11 games during the playoffs. While talking and lunching, he occasionally twists his neck, a sign of his still-present discomfort. This is not Kerr’s favorite topic, but: How’s his health?
“It’s all right, it’s all right,” Kerr, 51, says with a shrug. “I’d love to say that I’m all better, but not the case. I’m feeling better, having a good summer, relaxing. But it’s just been an ongoing thing now for two years.”
How confident is he that he’ll be able to coach all season?
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
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