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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Articles tagged: Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr: Klay Thompson likely to miss entire 2019-2020 season

Klay Thompson knee

The Golden State Warriors have held out hope that Klay Thompson could make a late-season return in 2020 after suffering a torn ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals four months ago, but that optimism has now faded away.

Speaking with NBC Sports Bay Area during an exclusive interview that will air in its entirety on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. ET as part of the “NBA Season Tip-Off” promotion for the MyTeams app, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr admitted that Thompson is unlikely to return at all this season.

“It’s unlikely that he’s going to play this year,” Kerr said. “So we have to understand that.”

Thompson underwent surgery on July 2 and expressed a desire to return after the All-Star break, but Kerr recognizes that perhaps everyone was looking at this through rose-colored glasses.

“You have to look at it realistically,” Kerr said said. “I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it’s a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.

“We’ve kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. … April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.

“We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him, and when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better.”

Thompson has remained around the team and intends to keep it that way throughout the season, but Kerr admits his superstar has become bored and will have to manage that moving forward.

With Thompson out, Kevin Durant now calling Brooklyn home and Andre Iguodala’s departure, it’s clearly a year of transition for these Warriors.

Donald Trump goes after ‘scared’ Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich over China comments

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has finally waded into the growing controversy between the NBA and China, but it’s not the Chinese he’s going after.

Trump ripped Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for their responses to the growing controversy, with both taking a more neutral stance toward the NBA’s handling of Rockets GM Daryl Morey speaking in support of Hong Kong.

Trump did not have anything to say about commissioner Adam Silver, Morey, or the NBA as a whole. That likely has to do with the fact that it’s been Kerr and Popovich who have been vocally critical of Trump in the past. It’s also worth noting that many Republicans have been very critical of the NBA’s response to the China issue, but Trump, to date, has only brought up the two head coaches.

For what it’s worth, Warriors guard Stephen Curry found the whole thing hilarious.

With the issue only escalating with new events, this is going to stick around for a while. It may not be the last time we hear from Trump on it — or at least something somewhat related to it.

Do you support Free Speech? Do you stand with Daryl Morey? Get the shirt that says so below!

Steve Kerr, Gregg Popovich’s responses to China situation are disappointing

Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich are two of the finest coaches in the NBA, if not the world. They also happen to be wise in terms of how they handle leadership matters and political discussions. When others are too timid or unsure of what to say in response to certain issues, Kerr and Popovich frequently are there to speak out. That’s a large part of what has made them so popular in the sports world and beyond. That’s also what makes their responses — or lack of responses — to the Daryl Morey/NBA China situation so disappointing.

When asked about the matter on Monday, rather than go to bat for his colleague Daryl Morey, who supported those protesting in Hong Kong, Kerr said he did not want to talk about the matter because he was not knowledgeable enough about the subject. He called it a “bizarre international story.”

“It’s a really bizarre international story, and a lot of us don’t know what to make of it. So it’s something I’m reading about just like everybody is, but I’m not going to comment further than that,” Kerr said, via Golden State Warriors reporter Logan Murdock.

“What I’ve found is that it’s easy to speak on issues that I’m passionate about and that I feel like I’m well-versed on, and I’ve found that it makes the most sense to stick to topics that fall in that category,” he added. “So I try to keep my comments to those things, and so it’s not difficult. It’s more I’m just trying to learn.”

On Tuesday, Popovich was asked about the matter and offered his support for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

“He’s been a heck of a leader in that respect and very courageous,” Popovich told reporters at the Spurs-Miami Heat preseason game Tuesday, via USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt. “Compared to what we’ve had to live through the last three years, there’s a big difference gap there leadership-wise and courage-wise.”

Keep in mind that the NBA tailored a statement to China in which they called Morey’s support of Hong Kong protesters “inappropriate” and said they were “extremely disappointed” in the Rockets GM. Popovich could have supported Morey — a position I would have expected him to take based on the Spurs coach’s past support of individual rights. But he stood with Silver instead. And Kerr wriggled off the hook by feigning ignorance.

Popovich supported Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. Kerr has as well and even said the NFL was “blackballing” the former quarterback for kneeling. These guys have called out Donald Trump when they felt the president’s behavior was inappropriate.

And they choose not to support Daryl Morey standing for democracy and freedom of speech — values they have championed in the past — when they had the opportunity? That’s very disappointing.

The league is preserving its business relationship with China. So is ESPN. Kerr and Popovich are doing the same. How much different does this make them from the NFL and the NFL’s owners, who wanted anthem protests to go away because it was also bad for business?

There are no two ways about it; China is a communist country. The fact that some think twice about criticizing China due to the country’s political spin tactics and actions against dissenters prove these truths. Supporting democracy, freedom of speech, and other first amendment rights — as Morey did — is not a partisan issue; it’s American right down to our constitution.

The fact that Kerr, Popovich, and others feel so comfortable issuing criticism in America but fear doing so about China helps prove why our country, despite some of its faults, is great. And if you support Kaepernick for standing up and expressing his beliefs against what he felt was wrong, you similarly should back Morey for doing the same. That’s what makes it disappointing that these two leaders chose not to.

Do you support Free Speech? Do you stand with Daryl Morey? Get the shirt that says so below!

Steve Kerr agrees with Kevin Durant’s comment about Warriors’ offense

Steve Kerr

A comment Kevin Durant made about the Golden State Warriors’ offense was interpreted by some as a shot towards Steve Kerr, but the head coach does not see it that way. Rather, he agrees with Durant.

During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Durant said Kerr’s offense only works to a certain extent.

“The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point. We can totally rely on only our system for maybe the first two rounds. Then the next two rounds we’re going to have to mix in individual play,” Durant said.

A lot of people wanted to point a finger and say “ooh, shots fired!” but not even Kerr sees it that way.

“I wasn’t at all offended what Kevin said because it’s basically the truth,” Kerr told The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. “You look at any system, I mean, I played the triangle with Michael Jordan. The offense ran a lot smoother all regular season and the first couple rounds of the playoffs than it did in the conference finals and Finals. It just did.”

Kerr continued: “That’s why guys like Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are who they are. They can transcend any defense. But defenses in the playoffs, deep in the playoffs, combined with the physicality of the game — where refs can’t possibly call a foul every time — means that superstars have to take over. No system is just going to dice a Finals defense up. You have to rely on individual play. I didn’t look at (his comment) as offensive. I look at that as fact.”

Durant was correct. Kerr is smart enough not to be offended. All is well.

And if you’re wondering how or why Kerr has been so successful as a head coach, just look at this answer. He doesn’t get offended, he doesn’t get outraged, he’s smart and reasonable, and understands that adapting and having stars are critical to achieving the highest level of success.

Durant made some other headlines with his comments in that interview, including his remarks about Oklahoma City Thunder fans and what he said about “full acceptance.”

Steve Kerr open to Andrew Bogut returning to Warriors

Andrew Bogut

Andrew Bogut may be turning 35 later this year, but Steve Kerr would still welcome him back to the Golden State Warriors for a third tour of duty.

In an interview this week with The Daily Telegraph, the Warriors head coach said that he would be open to bringing back the veteran center, who recently left for another season back home in Australia with the NBL’s Sydney Kings.

“We loved having Bogues at the Warriors last year,” said Kerr. “I think it was really good for him to play in Sydney. Part of that was just being home. It’s a better lifestyle than the NBA. But yeah, [Bogut returning to the Warriors] is something that I’d be into again.

“He is one of the best passing big men who has ever lived,” Kerr continued. “What he did for the Boomers in that win against Team USA didn’t surprise me. Andrew just seems rejuvenated to me. From a few years ago to now, he is playing better than he has in years.”

Bogut, the former No. 1 overall pick, also played for Sydney last year, winning NBL MVP and Best Defensive Player honors. After the season in Australia was complete, he then returned to the Warriors in March and played some important rotation minutes for them during their NBA Finals run.

With the Dubs frontcourt having lost Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Jordan Bell, and Damian Jones this summer, there does still appear to be room for Bogut if he wants to return late in the season. Hopefully though, it doesn’t catch his agent off-guard again this time.

Steve Kerr shares funny story of how he learned Kevin Durant chose Nets

Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr learned of some pretty disappointing news in about the best way possible.

Kerr was on a beach in Hawaii trying to relax and enjoy some personal time on June 30 when free agency began in the NBA. According to a story by ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, Kerr had even left his cell phone behind in his room so that he could read his book peacefully.

Despite Kerr’s efforts to avoid the free agency scene, he learned Kevin Durant had chosen to sign with the Brooklyn Nets from a stranger nearby on the beach, who shared the surprising news with a friend by exclaiming it loudly enough for Kerr to hear it.

Losing Durant stinks, but at least being on a beach in Hawaii while hearing it makes you realize life isn’t all that bad. Ironically, Kerr was on the same beach when the Warriors got the good news Durant had picked them three years earlier, so it all came full circle.

The Warriors likely knew Durant wasn’t coming back, so it’s no surprise Kerr didn’t want to have his weekend ruined by the bad news. The NBA is so pervasive though that he couldn’t avoid it anyway.

Steve Kerr says Andre Iguodala’s departure was most painful of his coaching career

Andre Iguodala

The loss of veteran swingman Andre Iguodala has been particularly difficult for Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

Appearing this week on The Warriors Insider Podcast, Kerr was open about how devastating Iguodala’s departure this summer was.

“That was a complete gut punch,” he said, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports. “I’m not going to lie. That was probably the most … not even probably — that was the most painful loss, in terms of a personnel move, that I’ve felt as a coach in my five years.

“Guys in this profession come and go pretty quickly. It’s a very fluid business,” Kerr continued. “But for what Andre has meant to not only our team but to me personally, as a coach, for accepting his role, for mentoring younger players, for monitoring the bench and keeping everything going — the respect the stars had for him combined with his mentoring of the younger players — Andre was the unsung hero of all this. For him to move on was just devastating for me.”

Iguodala, who was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a cap-saving move after Kevin Durant’s departure this summer, was a rock for the Warriors during six seasons with them that resulted in three titles. His defense and playmaking made him irreplaceable in their Death Lineup and his veteran intangibles and leadership qualities on top of that completed him as an elite glue guy.

Kerr has said that he expects Iguodala, his fellow University of Arizona product, to play for several more years, and it will obviously take a while for him to stomach that those years will no longer be coming with the Warriors.

Steve Kerr says Anthony Davis trade demand was ‘bad for the league’

Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr is all for players teaming up with one another in free agency and trying to build powerhouses together, but the Golden State Warriors coach does not think wanting to win championships is an excuse for not honoring a contract.

In the latest edition of “The Warriors Insider” podcast, Kerr said he will always “lean toward player empowerment” as a former player, but he thinks what happened between Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans is a problem for the NBA.

“(When) a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave,’ that’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with,” Kerr said, as transcribed by Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then (once the contract runs out) it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.”

Kerr said he has no problem with a player and a team coming to an agreement that it would be best to part ways, but he obviously disapproves of the way Davis forced the Pelicans’ hand by publicly demanding to be moved. He described it as “groundbreaking” and “bad for the league.”

The same principles could apply to Paul George, though the Oklahoma City Thunder may have been a lot willing to accommodate his trade request than the Pelicans were with Davis.

Kerr can’t speak out against superteams the way some former star players have, because Kevin Durant joining an already-loaded Warriors team helped the coach win two more championships. Still, you can understand his point about Davis. Players basically don’t have to honor their contracts if they become enough of a headache, and the willingness of more and more superstars to go that route is a concern for the NBA.

Jordan Bell has one funny thing he likes better about his new coach over Steve Kerr

Jordan Bell Warriors

Jordan Bell signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent this summer, and he already appears to be hitting if off with his new head coach.

Addressing reporters Tuesday, the 24-year-old big man revealed one comical thing he likes better about new head coach Ryan Saunders over his former coach with the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr. Bell said that he was able to talk to Saunders in Las Vegas about rapper Drake, something that he could never do with Kerr, per Jon Krawcynzki of The Athletic.

Saunders is just 33, making him the youngest head coach in the NBA and even younger than many active players. Compared to Kerr, who played in the 1990s and will turn 54 later this year, there is probably a bit of a generational gap.

That said, Bell had somewhat of a knack for pranking the coaching staff during his time in Golden State, so we will see how patient Saunders is.

Shaq responds to Steve Kerr calling him out over Finals comment

Shaq TNT

Shaquille O’Neal has some feet to kiss after a comment he made 15 years ago has come back to haunt him, and the Hall of Famer is puckering up.

Shaq’s Los Angeles Lakers won three straight championships from 2000-2002 and then reached the NBA Finals again in 2004, and the big man declared in an interview with ESPN that reaching four Finals in five years is so difficult it would never be done again. He said if any coach pulled it off, he’d kiss his feet on the show “Fear Factor.” Steve Kerr, who reached his fifth straight Finals with the Golden State Warriors this past season, was made aware of the interview on Monday.

Shaq responded by saying he is willing to pay up, as long as the cheese is Kraft brand.

Erik Spoelstra also brought the Miami Heat to four consecutive Finals from 2011-2014, so technically Shaq has to kiss his feet, too. As long as he’s the one kissing feet and not having his nightmarish feet kissed, things shouldn’t be all that bad.