NBA

Steve Kerr’s successor could be Warriors assistant Jama Mahlalela

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LAS VEGAS — In many ways, it’s fitting that the Golden State Warriors brought in Jama Mahlalela to sit in place of head coach Steve Kerr in the NBA’s summer league in the past 10 last days in Las Vegas.

Mahlalela brings several similar qualities to Kerr – his international roots, his ability to connect with players from diverse backgrounds, his engaging manner and quiet intensity. Second-year guard Moses Moody noticed the parallels, absolutely.

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“He’s just genuine,” Moody said. “As a player you can feel that – you can feel that when someone is real and someone is trying to trick you. That’s the similarity between Jama and Coach Kerr.

“They are both the person they are, and that’s how they coach. A certain level of respect comes with that.

Mahlalela, 42, is rising rapidly in NBA coaching circles, to the point that some league insiders consider him on the right track to one day become a head coach. One source even said that Mahlalela could be “the next Steve Kerr”.

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