NBA says Walton can still win Coach of the Month despite 0-0 record
The Golden State Warriors are a record 19-0. But their coach, Luke Walton, remains 0-0. How did he get to this point?
Essentially, Walton is technically only an interim coach for the moment, with official heal coach Steve Kerr missing the first chunk of the season as he recovers from back surgery. So, because Kerr is still the contracted head coach, those 19 wins have gone to his career win-loss record. He becomes 19 victories better. The interim Walton remains without any head-coaching record.
Tuesday, the NBA clarified the rules in regards to potential awards:
The NBA clarified today the league's rules regarding coaching records: the head coach of record is credited with team wins and losses. Steve Kerr remains the head coach of record for the Golden State Warriors and is credited with those results.
Additionally, any team head coach, interim head coach or acting head coach is eligible to be recognized with league coaching awards. Therefore, Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton is eligible for NBA Coach of the Month.
Coach of the Month often just goes to whichever bench leader totaled the best record during that period. It’s distinctly difficult to judge a coach month-to-month otherwise.
All this being said, it’s not like Kerr is no longer around the team. He’s still heavily involved behind the scenes with Walton managing the in-game stuff. Golden State has one of the most respected coaching staffs in the NBA, something that’s helped prepare the team for a situation like this. If Walton does get some coaching awards, it’ll truly be a statement on how well-run an organization the Warriors have become.