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Steve Kerr Repeatedly, Mercilessly Shades Rockets

Steve Kerr Repeatedly, Mercilessly Shades Rockets

The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets have had some memorable match-ups over the past few years.

Although the latter group was never quite able to overcome the former, they did give them arguably the biggest test of their championship run in the 2018 NBA Western Conference Finals. If not for Chris Paul getting hurt that year, Houston very well might have defeated the Warriors and made it to the NBA Finals.

Based on how tough the Rockets played Golden State over the years, one would assume that the Warriors have a lot of respect for their style. After all, if you’re giving the champs a run for their money – you have to be doing something right, right?

Apparently not.

In a conversation with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr got brutally honest regarding arguably his biggest rivals over the past five years.

Kerr was asked about how he envisions the team playing next season, and he took the opportunity to throw some shade at how Houston has played since James Harden’s arrival.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” he said.

“We’re still gonna be the Warriors. We’re not gonna all of a sudden turn into the Rockets — change our offense — and have one guy go high pick-and-roll 70 times a game.”

Kawakami poked a little fun at that response.

“That would be so you, Steve. Just do that, just do iso ball, pick-and-roll, where your heart is with this,” he replied.

“I think I would resign first,” Kerr countered.

“We’ve got to be ourselves, and what make Steph and Klay [Thompson] the players they are is the combination of what they can do on and off ball. That’s what moves defenses.”

Interestingly enough, Kerr’s proclamation seems mostly on par with what Stephen Curry did in the five games he played this year. His 10 threes per outing were roughly in line with what they had been for the past five years, well before all his All-Star teammates got hurt. It stands to reason that when Klay Thompson returns next season, and they are both reunited with Draymond Green, they will simply go back to playing like the pre-Kevin Durant Warriors.

Last week, Kerr appeared on Jemele Hill’s podcast and discussed what he wanted to do with the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

“We know how important this pick is,” he said.

“The most important thing that’s come from it is — as we sit here outside the bubble watching the games and knowing we have the second pick — it’s allowed all of us in the organization to watch every playoff game and realize how the league is changing, who the most talented players are, what the most effective strategies are.

“And then you look at the crop of players available and you go, ‘OK, who is gonna fit in to all of that?’ And we haven’t really had a chance to examine that in depth for the last five years, thankfully because, we’ve been in the (NBA) Finals.

“This is the first time we’ve had to really examine our own team and the league. It’s been a really, really healthy process for us.”

Kerr simply refused to be pinned down on a specific player, though.

“Well, we learned a lot from our own journey over the last five years. You got a guy like Steph Curry — who has other-worldly skill — and if there’s somebody like that out there, you gotta consider him no matter what.

“If there’s nobody with that kind of skill, then you really gotta look at the playoffs and think, ‘What’s winning? What’s winning at the highest level?’ And these days it’s not really any secret — versatility, switchability, guys who can guard multiple positions and stand up to the physicality.

“Those are all the important things. So those are the characteristics and qualities we’re looking for.”

All in all, this is going to be a big year for Golden State. If the team bounces back well, then last season’s failures will be deemed a fluke and forgotten. If not – then it is probably safe to write the dynasty off as being done for good.

Related: Washington Trading Dwayne Haskins To Jets, Steelers Or Bucs?

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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