The Golden State Warriors are the epitome of organizational excellence. The San Francisco 49ers are at this point, quite the opposite.
Golden States’ meteoric rise to prominence is due in part to the structure within the front office, and the cohesive relationship between head coach, general manager and ownership, something that has not existed with the 49ers during Jed York’s tenure.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked by John Lund on Thursday afternoon what advice he has for the San Francisco 49ers as they look to rebuild with the hiring of a new general manger and head coach. Kerr resisted giving any specific recommendations on who they should hire, but gave his two cents on the key to turning any franchise around.
“I just know getting good people in place and having all those people work together well,” Kerr began. “It sounds wistful, but when your owner, GM and coach are all not necessarily thinking alike but all really communicating well, and they’re on the same page, that’s the start, that’s the foundation you have to have.”
“I think what everybody understands is nobody has all the answers,” Kerr continued. “It’s such a difficult business, whether you’re talking about a coaching decision for me or a draft decision for Bob. Nobody’s gonna be right all the time. How are you gonna work through the failure, how are you gonna work through the mistakes? That’s really important because it’s a high stakes business. You get a lot of people who are gonna feel pressure — gonna feel the scrutiny — and how they respond to that together is crucial.”
Working through failure has not been a strength of a York regime that has fired three coaches at the end of the last three seasons. That fact alone may be enough to scare potential coaching candidates away this offseason. When asked why he chose to coach in Golden State, Kerr explained how owner Joe Lacob showed him what he was looking for during their interview.
“I had spent time in Phoenix as a GM,” Kerr said. “I had spent eight year’s covering the league and different organizations and seeing how they operated, and so I wanted to know what Joe Lacob’s commitment was — both financially and emotionally. How much does he care about this, and is there a balance. I think that’s the whole key is are you committed, ‘yes,’ how does that effect the decision making.”
“In this case, it was about Joe trusting Bob and the staff and letting them make decisions and letting me be part of that. I think that’s a really big component. You’ve got to hire good people and let them do their job. In my mind as I looked at the Warriors when I interviewed with them; I saw Rick Welts who I worked with in Phoenix. I saw Bob. I saw this group that was committed and together and sharp, and I saw an owner that was not only really smart enough to hire them in the first place — and let them do their jobs — but giving them every opportunity, every financial and emotional commitment that was necessary to do so.”
“This is as good as it gets, and I recognized that while I was being interviewed. I’m lucky to be in this position.”
Listen to the full interview below.