Steve Kerr as had a lot of responsibilities as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Creating their revolutionary offense, managing all the star egos, and of course there's the timeless tradition of making excuses for Draymond Green when he does something highly questionable/dirty. That's the job of the head coach, right? You stick by your players no matter what. That's why Kerr's comments immediately after the Draymond chokehold weren't surprising at all. He was just doing what any coach would do in that spot
Who cares that's not really what happened at all. Rudy never had Klay by the neck, but details don't matter in a situation like this right? It's Kerr's job to stand by his players so as to not lose the locker room.
Which is interesting of course, because once the NBA handed out the 5 game suspension, it didn't take Kerr long to completely change his tune
The line was perfectly in view the other night,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday in his pregame press conference. "He crossed the line as soon as he grabbed Rudy [Gobert] by the neck. That crossed the line.
“The line is when you’re not going to be there the next five games for your teammates at a time when they need you. Understanding the repercussions of the actions, understanding the impact on the team, understanding the visual. … I know Draymond and he’s a wonderful human being. He’s filled with passion and love and respect for his teammates. But that is a bad look. That’s a bad look. He knows that and he’s embarrassed by that. So that’s the line. That’s where the line is.”
“He definitely took it too far,” Kerr said of Green. “I didn't have a problem with him getting Rudy off with Klay, because the rule of thumb is you don't put your hands on another player on the other team. You get your own guy, so I thought Rudy was wrong for putting his arms on Klay, regardless of his intentions. So I have no problem with Draymond getting him off him, but he's got to let go. He hung on for six, seven seconds and it was a terrible visual for the league, for Draymond for everybody.
“So Draymond was wrong. He knows that. It’s a bad look. The five games is deserved, and we move forward.”
And hey, maybe this was more Kerr finally got a better look at the situation and that enabled him to form a different opinion. That's not totally unreasonable given how crazy things probably were in the moment, but I wonder if it actually goes a little deeper than that.
You see, there have been plenty of times the replay has shown Draymond clearly did something fucked up, and it always felt like the fanbase, team, players always made an excuse for him no matter what. They always tried to justify his actions at all cost. When can you EVER remember Steve Kerr saying those quotes above when it came to a Draymond incident? It's not as if this has been the only time Draymond has ever been at fault, but it does feel like the first time Steve Kerr is done making excuses for him.
Can you blame the guy? I mean Draymond tanked the Warriors season last year by punching a teammate in the face and it took like 2 weeks for him to once again put the Warriors in a tough spot, at a time when they really could have used him with Steph out with injury. It's no surprise the Warriors defense was a disaster last night in their home loss to OKC
and once the drama seed gets planted, there's really no stopping it, especially if you then start dropping games
These are the types of distractions that pretty much every team tries to avoid. For the second straight season, the Warriors have to deal with "team morale" questions all because of Draymond Green's actions. Things in the NBA are so fluid, things like this can completely change the direction of your season. We just saw it with this exact same team! In a blink of an eye, the Warriors have gone from 6-2 to 6-7. After losing just 8 games at home all season last year, they're already 1-5. I'm not saying that's all Draymond's fault, it mostly has to do with no Curry and Klay Thompson being a general disaster this season, but all this shit adds up.
Between the sudden change in tune from Kerr to the potential trade situation of Klay given he's without an extension, are we witnessing the early stages of a transition in GS? Are they finally ready to turn the page on this core, now that the juice may not be worth the squeeze? Years ago, everyone defended Draymond to the death because it was worth it. But it sure looks like those days might be coming to an end as well.