Kerr calls out critics after player-coach gambit
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr took it easy on Monday night by letting his players handle some of his coaching duties, but he was far less laid back when asked about his decision Tuesday.
“I’ve been quickly reminded today of what an insane world we live in, and how everything now is just a story and constantly judged and picked apart,” Kerr told 95.7 The Game in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Kerr said that letting his players coach in Monday’s 129-83 win over the Phoenix Suns was not that big a deal, but said “it’s the world we live in so everyone is going to debate it and whether it’s a controversy or not it has to become one I guess.”
At various points in Monday’s game, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and David West had control in the huddle. Some criticized Kerr’s move as disrespectful. “We have a veteran team. You turn over the timeout huddles to the players so that they can discuss strategy on their own,” Kerr said. “I don’t think its earth-shattering news.”
Despite some apparent backlash, Kerr said he might do it again.
“I don’t think it’s something we would do often, but I think it’s a good exercise,” the coach said. “It’s a nine-month season. … This is every single day for seven, eight, nine months depending on how your team does. And so everything gets pretty monotonous. “I think you’ve got to do your best in the NBA to keep things light and loose and occasionally throw the team a curve ball. So I can see doing it again one time, a couple times. We’ll see.”
While Kerr has received some blow back for his decision, some coaches around the league have had a sense of humor about it.
“I noticed their plays were a little better out of timeout tonight,” Suns coach Jay Triano told ESPN jokingly Monday night after being on the opposing sideline. “Nah, I didn’t have a problem with what Steve did.”
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue also joked about the situation, but said it won’t be a strategy he employs.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Lue said Tuesday before the Cavaliers’ game with the Oklahoma City Thunder. “They already said LeBron‘s coaching the team, anyway. If I give him the clipboard, they’re really going to say it.”
Information from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.