Warriors’ Steve Kerr becomes highest-paid coach in NBA history with two-year, $35 million contract extension

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has agreed to a two-year contract extension for $35 million, according to two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The people spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because Kerr hasn’t signed his new contract. ESPN first reported the agreement, attributing that to Kerr’s agents at Priority Sports. It would be a record for annual value.

In his 10th season with the Warriors, Kerr’s current deal was set to expire after this season — and he hadn’t been in a rush to complete anything, with the season his top priority and him being clear he always planned on returning.

The 58-year-old Kerr recently won his 500th game and has guided Golden State to four championships with a star-studded roster led by Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Kerr has said numerous times, including last summer with USA Basketball, that he was not concerned about entering this season without a deal for 2024-25 and beyond. He will coach the Americans at the Paris Olympics this summer and has no plans to remain in that role for the next four-year Olympic cycle.

The average value of $17.5 million would be the most for any NBA coach. Other deals have a higher total value: Miami’s Erik Spoelstra agreed to an eight-year, $120 million extension earlier this year, while San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich (five years, $80 million) and Detroit’s Monty Williams (reported six years, $78 million) have bigger contracts in terms of total dollars.

After coaching the Warriors to the 2015 title for the franchise’s first championship in 40 years, Kerr took a leave of absence early in the next season after suffering debilitating complications from a pair of back surgeries. Top assistant Luke Walton coached in his absence and led a record 24-0 start and was 39-4 overall while Kerr was out.

Kerr then missed more than six weeks on the bench in 2017 because of pain, headaches and other symptoms such as vertigo. Now-Kings coach Mike Brown filled in for him until Kerr returned for Game 2 of the NBA Finals as the Warriors went on to win behind Finals MVP Kevin Durant and Curry.

Kerr’s extension is worth more annually than what he made in the entirety of his playing career, one in which he was part of five NBA championship teams. It also keeps him leading Golden State through 2025-26, which also represents the last season in which Stephen Curry is under contract with the Warriors.

Among coaches with more than 500 NBA wins, only three — Phil Jackson, K.C. Jones and Red Auerbach — have a higher winning percentage than Kerr, who entered Friday night having won 65.5% of his games with the Warriors. And his postseason success is beyond compare: Kerr has gone 99-41 as Golden State’s coach in the postseason, that winning percentage of .707 ranking as the best in NBA history. Only six coaches have more playoff wins than Kerr.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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