Had a chance to talk to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr on Thursday — right after the team’s practice in Memphis. The Warriors are 44-8, but two of those losses have come against the Grizzlies, whom they play on Friday night.
The Warriors then go to Oklahoma City for Kevin Durant’s return — an environment that is sure to be emotional. Then comes the finale of the three-game trip, the Nuggets in Denver on Monday.
Kerr talked about the trip and contended that this might be the toughest three-game stretch of the season — “given the circumstances.” The circumstances are being without two of their big players: Zaza Pachulia and David West.
Here were other topics Kerr addressed:
–Kerr was ejected in Saturday’s overtime loss to the Kings, and it was an epic tirade. You didn’t need to be a lip-reader to know he said some bad words. Kerr tells that his mother wasn’t not very happy with her son’s behavior — and what Kerr’s mom said about his temper tantrum.
–Kerr addressed the Warriors’ late-game offensive execution, which has been spotty at best so far. Kerr said that last year the Warriors were spotty, too, but that they found a way to win some games that they probably didn’t deserve to win. He said this year the team is paying the price, with actual losses, and it has made it easier to emphasize where improvement is needed. Kerr said last year’s team had slippage but they didn’t suffer losses in most of those games.
–Kerr has been outspoken when it comes to political and social issues. The Bay Area is a terrific place to address those kinds of things, but particularly with Kerr’s outlook. Kerr said that he’s received some backlash for his views, but that as long as everyone comes at each other from a place of compassion and respect good can come from where we’re at.
–Kerr said he’ll often think about what his former coaches might do in basketball situations that he finds himself in. But he didn’t limit it to just Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson. Kerr expounds on how fortunate he was to play for Lute Olson, Lenny Wilkens, etc.
–Kerr talked in detail about whether he thinks about taking the Warriors job over the Knicks job a couple of years back. Long and short of it is that Kerr realizes he walked into a perfect situation in Golden State, with a roster ready to win a title.