Steve Kerr’s successor could be Warriors assistant Jama Mahlalela

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

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

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

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

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

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