OAKLAND – Unlike several NCAA coaches, Kerr has a good thing going for himself. He coaches a championship team. And he hardly has to worry about scandals, while assistant coaches at Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and USC were arrested in a bribery scheme.
“There’s a reason I coach in the NBA. I never wanted to be a college coach,” Kerr said. “I don’t immerse myself in that stuff. The NBA is very pure. We don’t want to make apologies or concessions about what we’re doing. We’re just playing basketball. It’s a business And the NCAA obviously has lots of things to figure out on many levels who they are and what they’re doing.”
Embracing the role
The Warriors once made the general public fall in love with them for their selfless play, fast tempo and ability to knock down endless 3-pointers.
“We were sort of the fresh, fun story was the first year when people didn’t expect us to win the championship,” Kerr said.
The Warriors did win the championship in 2014-15, followed by a chain of events that have prompted those outside of the Bay Area to sneer at them.
They faced ridicule for coughing up a 3-1 series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. They prompted jealousy for having cap space to acquire Kevin Durant last summer, which became the missing ingredient to their star-studded cast in winning another title in 2017. They have become a lightning rod for their outspokenness toward President Donald Trump, which prompted him to withdraw an invitation to the White House that was never granted anyway.
The Warriors are not trying to anger people. They are not worried about it, though.
“We’ve been a target and so opposing fans are going to let us have it,” Kerr said. “It’s a fun position to be in.”
Wait your turn
The Warriors’ main offseason acquisition once proclaimed himself as the NBA’s best 3-point shooter of all time. That does not mean Nick Young is serious. After all, when the Warriors agreed with Young to a one-year, $5.2 million deal through the mid-level exception, Warriors forward Kevin Durant quickly teased Young about his 2013-14 season with the Lakers.
On Twitter, Durant posted a photo of Young celebrating a 3-point attempt prematurely before the ball hit off the rim. Durant has not forgotton that moment, and explains why Young apparently is not allowed yet to shoot with Durant and Steph Curry.
“We have to wait. Last time I’ve seen Nick shoot a jump shot, he turned around and the ball came out of the rim,” Durant said. “He tried to pull a Steph Curry and it didn’t work. So we’ll have to wait a couple of months. He got to earn it.”
Pass the mic
Well before the Warriors made NBA championships a standard, Lee Jones put in the kind of work to ensure excellence on the airwaves.
Jones was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame last Saturday after serving as an engineer for the Warriors’ radio broadcasts for the past 30 years. He also was an engineer and producer for the Giants for 30 years, while also working with the Athletics and 49ers in various capacities.
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