Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will become the next head coach of the United States Men’s National Basketball Team.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kerr will replace Gregg Popovich as the head coach of Team USA, starting at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and continuing through the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Kerr will replace Gregg Popovich as the next coach of the United States team at the World Cup and the Paris 2024 Olympics. He was an assistant on the staff olympic who won Popovich’s gold medal in Tokyo. https://t.co/Dxo8fXMsUT
– Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 10, 2023
As Wojnarowski reported, Kerr’s staff will consist of Suns head coach Monty Williams, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, and Mark Few, Gonzaga University head coach.
Kerr’s long history with Team USA dates back to 1986, when he played for the team at the FIBA World Championship. He joined as an assistant coach in 2018, serving in that capacity at the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics.
What will Kerr bring as head coach of Team USA? His coaching history suggests that there will be a similar approach, but different from his predecessors.
How Steve Kerr compares to Coach K Gregg Popovich as the coach of Team USA.
Kerr’s time as an assistant coach with USA Basketball began alongside Popovich, who succeeded Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The 2019 World Cup was a forgettable performance for Team USA, as they earned a seventh place after losing twice in the final round of the competition. The road to redemption lasted twice as long as anticipated, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the 2020 Olympics to 2023, where Popovich was able to lead the team to gold.
Kerr, who spent four seasons playing for the Spurs, is one of Popovich’s long list of protected coaches, but their strategies can be quite different.
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Since Kerr took over at Golden State in 2014, his Warriors have been at the forefront of the 3-point revolution that has changed the entire NBA landscape. During that same span of time, Popovich’s Spurs have remained at the bottom of the league in volume of 3-point attempts and hits.
That said, the NBA game and the FIBA game are very different and Popovich’s US team attempted more than 34 3-pointers per game en route to gold in Tokyo, a notable uptick from 29. , 8 attempts per game during the team’s disappointing 2019 World Cup. K’s last tournament? Team USA attempted 28.1 3-pointers per game.
It is worth noting that the time intervals between tournaments give way to drastic changes in the game, which can lead to jarring statistical differences. There is also something to be said for the personnel, as a team that is remarkably built around 3-point shots will always result in a greater number of 3-point shots.
The Warriors’ confidence in the 3-ball is as much about having two of the greatest shooters of all time in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as it is about Kerr at the helm.
Which leads to the importance of staff.
Will Stephen Curry play for USA Basketball?
Kerr’s appointment means the spotlight will surely shift to Warriors superstar and 3-point king Stephen Curry.
As illustrious of a resume as Curry, he has yet to win Olympic gold. At 36, would Curry go for a walk as an Olympian if his head coach was in charge? As a players coach, Kerr will likely have a wide range of players to choose from for the upcoming tournaments that he is expected to lead.
MORE: When will Curry become the all-time leader in 3s?
And there will likely be more stars in the pipeline over the next three seasons, too.
As much as can be said about Kerr’s reliance on the 3, his teams’ defenses shouldn’t be mentioned as an afterthought. During each of the Warriors’ title runs, they have boasted dominating defenses, yet another product of their staff.
In a FIBA game that’s a different kind of physique, Kerr and his new staff will be tasked with plotting to keep the USA on top of the basketball world. Given the precedent set in years past and the quality of the attendees he will have at his side, Kerr can continue the longstanding dominance.