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Luke Walton becomes Warriors' interim head coach

Arizona filling in for Arizona

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors announced on Thursday that Steve Kerr would be taking a leave of absence as he continues to recover from back surgery.

This has led to another former Arizona Wildcat to take over on the bench. Luke Walton will be the team's interim head coach while Kerr continues his recovery.

"After the first two days of training camp, I realized I need to take a step back and focus on my rehabilitation in order to be ready for the grind of another NBA season," said Kerr. "As I noted last week, my summer was difficult and no fun due to the multiple back surgeries. At this point, I simply want to get healthy and back to my normal daily routine on and off the court."

The Warriors said that there is no timetable for Kerr's return. The team starts preseason play on Monday, and their regular season opener is October 27th vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. So that could be Walton facing off against another assistant coach on last year's championship team, Alvin Gentry.