It was just another day at the office for Steve Kerr.
Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, took his team on the road Tuesday night to face James Harden and the Houston Rockets, and he walked away with a 113-106 victory. It was the eighth consecutive win for the Warriors, and the team’s 60th of the season. More notably, it was the 200th win of Kerr’s career, in only 238 games.
Needless to say, that is a record.
It may be early to celebrate milestones in a career that has yet to reach three complete seasons, but consider how long it took some other coaches to reach 200 victories. Don Nelson, the N.B.A.’s career leader with 1,335 coaching victories, needed 367 games to get to 200. Lenny Wilkens needed 424. George Karl needed 417, Gregg Popovich 333, Red Auerbach 324 and Pat Riley 289. Even Phil Jackson, with his 11 N.B.A. championships and .704 career winning percentage, needed 270 games, or 32 more than Kerr, to become a 200-game winner.
Kerr, a key player on several of Jackson’s best teams, would be the first to admit he was helped by a talented roster.
“I know how lucky I am,” Kerr told reporters after Tuesday’s win. “Most first-time coaches don’t inherit Steph Curry and Draymond and Klay and all these guys,” he said, referring to Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
That should not diminish his role in improving a team that had underachieved under Mark Jackson. Kerr delivered the franchise’s first 60-win season upon arrival, won an N.B.A. title and followed up by setting the league’s single-season wins record (73). He now has as many 60-win seasons (three) as Jerry Sloan (in 26 years) and Karl (in 27). Wilkens never won 60.
Jackson was in a plum situation, too, when he…