Steve Kerr

Kerr recalls feeling bad for Brown after Dubs eliminated Kings in 2023

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Tuesday’s looming NBA Play-In Tournament game between the Warriors and Sacramento Kings will add another story to the ever-growing Northern California basketball lore.

But for now, fans are remembering the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs when Golden State narrowly defeated Sacramento in seven games.

The series was a thriller that fans hope to see recreated during this season’s play-in. However, for 10-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr, beating the Kings comes with an emotional cost.

“I think the main thing, honestly, that I remember, was shaking [Kings coach] Mike Brown’s hand afterward,” Kerr told reporters at Warriors practice Monday. “You get to these elimination games and play and compete against people you’re really close with.

“There’s a sense of elation when you win, but you know your good friend is struggling and it hurts. Those moments are always really difficult when you coach against a great friend.”

Kerr was overjoyed by Golden State’s series victory over Sacramento but couldn’t help feeling melancholy for Brown’s season being over.

Brown served as Kerr’s top Warriors assistant coach in the Bay from 2016 to 2021. Additionally, Kerr spent two of his last three years as an NBA guard under then-San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Brown.

The two have grown close over the decades but are forming quite the postseason rivalry.

“I was feeling great joy for our team [in 2023] and sorrow for Mike because of everything he has meant to me over the years,” Kerr added.

After coaching beside Kerr with Golden State, Brown was offered Sacramento's head-coaching position.

Brown snapped Sacramento’s 16-year NBA playoff drought after leading the Kings to a 48-34 finish last season. It was Kerr’s squad that cut Brown’s season short.

Tuesday’s matchup is primed to be another classic, and Sacramento’s home Golden 1 Center crowd will be hostile.

“You know, the atmosphere for all four home games there [Golden 1] was amazing [and] incredibly loud,” Kerr recalled.

Warriors-Kings will leave one of the coaches heartbroken.

Kerr, however, likely will have heavy feelings either way.

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