Steve Kerr named USA Basketball’s next head coach

Steve Kerr Team USA
Steve Kerr
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Kerr has coached one of the most successful NBA franchises in the Golden State Warriors — and now he’ll run one of the greatest national teams in the world.

USA Basketball officially announced Kerr as the new head coach of the national team on Monday afternoon and introduced him to the media at a press conference at the Chase Center. Kerr replaces longtime coach Gregg Popovich, who finishes his time at the helm of USA Basketball with an 11-3 record and a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The announcement came three days after Kerr picked up his 400th career win as a coach, which came at the fifth-fastest pace in NBA history.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to represent our country as the head coach for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team,” Kerr said in a statement. “It’s a thrilling opportunity and I’m excited for the challenge.

“Obviously, there are numerous people who I need to acknowledge and thank, notably Grant Hill, Jim Tooley and Sean Ford of USA Basketball, and of course Gregg Popovich and Jerry Colangelo, who gave me the opportunity to be an assistant coach on the most recent USA staff.”

Kerr has had a rich history with USA Basketball, first as a player and then on the coaching staff. The Golden State Warriors coach was part of the team that won gold at the 1986 FIBA World Championship before joining the Team USA staff as an assistant coach in 2018.

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, and Gonzaga University coach Mark Few will serve as assistants on Kerr’s staff.

“I’m also beyond excited to work with three coaches I have enormous respect for in Erik Spoelstra, Monty Williams and Mark Few,” Kerr said. “Coaching the USA Men’s National Team comes with great responsibility — one that calls for a group effort with a team of coaches committed to the team, to the goal, and to each other — and I couldn’t ask for a finer group of high character individuals to help me lead our national team. Our goal, of course, is to win and make our country proud.  We will work hard to do so.”

Kerr was long viewed as a favorite to take over the job. After passing on the New York Knicks’ job, the 56-year-old has led Golden State to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and championships in 20115, 2017 and 2018. Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant was a member of two of those championship-winning teams.

The Nets are sure to have a few names up for consideration for future national team spots. Durrant helped lead Team USA to a win in the gold-medal game against France during the most recent Summer Olympics.

Brooklyn also boasted six players as finalists for Olympic roster spots earlier this year. James Harden and Kyrie Irving are sure to be in the conversation for future USA Basketball teams after opting out of the 2020  Summer Games so they could heal from injuries.