OAKLAND – Steve Kerr has one of the best coaching pedigrees in the history of the NBA.
He played under the Zenmaster Phil Jackson for six years in Chicago and got to watch Michael Jordan operate up close and personal. He played two stints with Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and has talked about taking coaching tricks from him. But Monday when Steve Kerr pulled a trick out of his bag, it was one of his own making.
The head coach let his players run shootaround before Monday’s game against the Phoenix Suns. Andre Iguodala led the video session, with JaVale McGee on the computer. Come gametime and Kerr let his players coach the team during timeouts. All he and his staff did was take care of rotations, and the players did the rest.
“It’s their team. I think that’s one of the first things you have to consider as a coach,” Kerr said. “They have to take ownership of it. As coaches our job is to nudge them in the right direction, guide them, but we don’t control them. They determine their own fate. I don’t feel like we’ve focused well the past month, and just it seemed like the right thing to do.”
The Suns could have taken this as a sign of disrespect (like the internet did), but Kerr took the time to talk to Phoenix’s Head Coach Jay Triano after the game and explain how the move was about his own team, and not Triano’s.
Looks like Steve Kerr may be explaining his decision to have players run the huddle tonight to Suns coach Jay Triano postgame pic.twitter.com/6GHdnm2cch
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 13, 2018
“I have to coach my team,” Kerr said. “It had nothing to do with being disrespectful. It had to do with me trying to reach my team. I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul over these past few years.”
Whether that was the case or not, who could’ve blamed the Suns for an extra hard foul or two once they realized what was happening on the bench next to them. That wasn’t the case, but other teams may not take so kindly to the move.
Warriors travel to Portland next to face the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, when we fully expect Kerr to be back in the saddle.