The Warriors have played a lot of basketball in recent years. Three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals add up. Maybe that’s why Steve Kerr wanted a break.
Golden State’s head coach showed up to work on Monday night, but he did not show up to work, apparently. The former NBA Coach of the Year decided before tipoff against the Suns that his players would handle coaching duties. They did just that, right down to giving instructions and diagramming plays during timeouts.
— NBA (@NBA) February 13, 2018
Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Stephen Curry and others took turns coaching while Kerr took a backseat. Perhaps it was a way to congratulate himself for becoming the fastest NBA head coach to earn win No. 250 on Saturday. Either way, the Warriors looked just fine under new management, beating the Suns by a whopping 46 points.
Phoenix guard Troy Daniels was not pleased with what he deemed a disrespectful move by Kerr He told Scott Bordow of The Arizona Republic as much before zipping his own dart at the Warriors‘ head coach.
“It’s disrespectful,” Daniels said. “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys, though. So I think anybody can do it.”
Suns veteran Jared Dudley agreed that Kerr showed a “lack of respect,” but told ESPN’s Chris Haynes that it is on Phoenix to change how opponents esteem them.
“It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect,” Dudley said. “When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”
Jared Dudley to ESPN on Steve Kerr allowing his players to coach. “It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect. When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 13, 2018
Kerr, however, insisted that his forgoing game-night duties was about sending a message to his own players, not the Suns.
“I told Jay that people may make a big deal of it and it had nothing to do with being disrespectful,” Kerr told the Republic. “It had everything to do with me trying to reach my team. I haven’t been able to reach them the last month. They are tired of my voice and I”m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years. I wasn’t reaching them and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”