Kerr completely opposes Trump's ban: 'Could be breeding anger and terror'

Kerr completely opposes Trump's ban: 'Could be breeding anger and terror'

Steve Kerr spoke out again Sunday night. The basketball coach dived into the deep end of our current sociopolitical pool, where the waters are more treacherous than ever and where advances for decades, if not centuries, in the making are imperiled.

In so doing, Kerr erased the line written, in crayon, by a mob of narrow-minded souls congregating within their cave. The line reads: Stick to sports.

With the instability in the nation’s capital adversely affecting so many lives, in so many places, how does anyone in America with a conscience, no matter his occupation, ignore the world beyond?

Sports have been an integral part of America’s sociopolitical fabric for more than 100 years, no later than our participation in the modern Olympic Games in 1896. From Jack Johnson and Jim Thorpe, to Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson, to Bill Russell and Jim Brown, to Muhammad Ali and Billie Jean King, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Manute Bol, sport has been one of the first places we go to check our national temperature.

And, these days, we’re running a fever.

We’ve had consecutive weekends of national demonstrations, involving millions, over the direction in which we’re being taken. And just as sports figures like Aubrey Huff and Curt Schilling can voice their support of and belief to the current president, in the process castigating those who dare to question, so, too, can sports figures like David West and Kerr voice measured concern and dissent.

With President Trump signing an executive order designed to ban Muslims, with particular emphasis on seven countries, in the name of “keeping our country safe” from terrorists, professionals of all stripes are speaking up. We’re hearing from doctors and lawyers, soldiers and teachers, police officers and individuals roaming the halls of technology.

If you don’t know or care about someone feeling persecuted even more than before, well, you are in the cave.

On the subject of terrorism, Kerr has a particularly personal viewpoint. His father, Malcolm, was assassinated 33 years ago this month by two Islamic terrorists who charged into American University of Beirut, shot Kerr as he walked to his office -- he was president of the school -- and ran away.

“I would just say, as someone whose family member was a victim of terrorism, having lost my father, if we’re trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, by really going against the principles of what our country is about and creating fear, it’s the wrong way to go about it,” Kerr said after the Warriors-Trail Blazers game in Portland.

“If anything, we could be breeding anger and terror. So I’m completely against what’s happening. I think it’s shocking. I think it’s a horrible idea and I really feel for all of the people who are affected, families are being torn apart. And I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world. It’s going about it, completely opposite. You want to solve terror; you want to solve crime. It’s not the way to do it.”

Some will understand where Kerr is coming from on this and they’ll see the light he is trying to shine. Others will shrug and disagree, some politely and some abrasively.

Some might even summon the gall to suggest Kerr should stick to sports.

They’ll suggest the same to Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump’s rhetoric and behavior. They’ll suggest it to those within the sports media who dare to express apprehension.

But sports and politics are linked not only because they sometimes share corridors of clout but also because they routinely cross paths. The Olympics serve as a showcase of national vigor and influence. Champions visit the White House. Numerous athletes, liberals and conservatives, have retired and entered politics.

Indeed, there are those who have and will continue to urge Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), a former tight end at Stanford, to pursue the White House in 2020.

Booker still loves sports, but he surely feels the national anxiety. And there he was on Sunday, at Dulles International Airport, just outside Washington, D.C., supporting and speaking out on behalf of those protesting Trump’s executive order.

If Cassius Clay had been a member of the “stick to sports” society, he would not have become Muhammad Ali, who stood on principle in the 1960s and waited patiently for the rest of society catch up to him.

Voices are needed, and now. This is the moment for the truly informed high-profile figures in sports to stand up and be heard. As for those not informed, do the research and wake up.

Educate yourself, or you risk staying in your cave when we need all the wisdom we can get.

Quinn Cook states his case for spot on Warriors playoff roster

Quinn Cook states his case for spot on Warriors playoff roster

Because it’s only two games against two of the worst teams in the NBA, it’s prudent to resist the temptation to fall in love with Quinn Cook.

Putting up Stephen Curry numbers in consecutive games does not make one Stephen Curry.

It’s impossible, though, not to clearly understand why the Warriors have consistently expressed faith in Cook, the two-way point guard who has spent three years trying to make an NBA team.

Two fine games are enough, though, for the coaching staff to recommend adding him to the postseason roster. It’s wise to have a contingency in case Curry has to miss any of the games that matter most, and the Warriors are a smart bunch.

Cook on Saturday told reporters in Phoenix that the Warriors have not addressed the possibility of being on the postseason roster. That doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about it.

“He’s proven that he can compete at this level,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Saturday night in Phoenix. “The last couple games, you’re seeing what he can do. He’s a great shooter. We’ve known that."

Cook scored, on back-to-back nights, 25 and 28 points, shooting 70 percent (21-of-30) from the field, including 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from deep. That’s Curry-type quality when he’s on a roll. Cook also handled the ball well, recorded seven assists and was pesky enough on defense to nab five steals.

“Quinn is showing the world that he is an NBA player,” Draymond Green said.

Cook’s 10 3-pointers over the past two games are more than anybody not named Curry, Durant or Thompson have drained over a similar stretch -- and only Nick Young among the team’s reserves have made more over any single month.

The Warriors, it just so happens, are dead last in 3-pointers made by reserves, averaging 2.0 per game, with Young accounting for 1.5 per game.

Cook is showing he might be able to help with this.

Kerr loves 3-point shooters. General manager Bob Myers is fond of saying he can never have too many shooters.

The Warriors are discovering they can’t have too many capable point guards, particularly when Cook is proving that he, like Curry, also is comfortable playing off the ball. Pairing Cook with Shaun Livingston, the primary backup to Curry, is a nice option to have.

“I’ve said all along,” Green said. “I sit here and watch so many other teams play and I wonder, ‘How is Quinn Cook a two-way player?' And then you’ve got guys in the league that can’t dribble with their left hand, or can’t go left, can’t go right, but you’ve got a guy like that as a two-way player.

“So I’m happy for him. I pray that he gets rewarded and gets what he deserves.”

Cook had brief trial runs with the Pelicans, as a rookie, and the Mavericks last season. He played a total of 14 games with the two teams. He has played 21 with the Warriors, seven as a starter, but only in the last two has he looked entirely comfortable in his role and with these teammates.

With Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Curry out, the Warriors need Cook to score. He knows he needs to score. He is scoring. And doing a few other things, too.

“Playing in the NBA is something that I’ve dreamed of my whole life,” Cook said after his 28-point performance in a win over the Suns. “I can’t really put it into words, just being able to put on an NBA jersey night in and night out, practice with an NBA team every day, has been my goal since I can remember. I’m just trying to get better every day and live in the moment. I’m just trying to win games. I’m trying to help out as much as possible, whether it’s getting guys shots, playing defense, shooting the ball.

“Lately the ball’s been going in a little bit. But with three All-Stars out, I’ve got to step up. I’m just taking it game by game and competing night in and night out.”

Sometime early next month, if not late this month, the Warriors expect to have their starting backcourt. Curry and Thompson will have returned before the playoffs begin April 14-15, and both will need to be available if for reasonable chance to repeat as champs.

But Cook is making his case for inclusion. He’ll get another test Monday night in San Antonio, where Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is sure to throw at Cook a few wrinkles he may not have seen, but the Warriors have seen enough to know he can help.

“He’s a good fit for us, too,” Kerr said. “It’s not just his ability. It’s his maturity. He’s very professional, does whatever is asked, the guys love him. They want to go to war with him.

“He’s a guy. He’s an NBA guy. We’re lucky to have him.”

That’s not an demand, or even a preference. To add Cook to the roster, the Warriors would have to shed one of their 15 players currently on a standard NBA contract.

But somewhere among Kerr’s words, I believe I see an endorsement.

Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns


Warriors need vets to bounce back against young Suns

The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, their roster is in shambles and, still, they look like pure gold in contrast to the Suns team they’re facing Saturday night in Phoenix.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

Reeling from the absences of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, the Warriors (52-17) showed plenty of the scrap in losing to the Kings on Friday in Oakland but couldn’t get much offense from their veterans.

The Suns (19-51) are having the worst season since 1968-69, their inaugural season. They’ve lost seven in a row, 16 of their last 17 and 21 of their last 23.


Warriors by 3


Quinn Cook vs. Elfrid Payton: Payton bolted to a 16-point first quarter and scored 29 the last time he faced the Warriors. Quinn is coming off a career-high 25-point game. With teams relying on diminished rosters, whichever of the two young PGs can set a tone gives his team an advantage.


Warriors: G Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak), F Kevin Durant (R rib soreness), G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Suns: G Devin Booker (R hand sprain) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus tear) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L ACL tear) is listed as out.


Warriors: 7-3.

Suns: 1-9.


Tony Brothers (crew chief), Jacyn Goble, James Williams


The Warriors won the first of four meetings this season, 129-83 on Feb. 12 at Oracle Arena. They swept all four games last season and are 12-1 against the Suns in the Steve Kerr era.


MOTIVATED VETS: Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia, David West and Nick Young, expected to generate offense, combined to shoot 19-of-59 (32.2 percent) in a five-point loss Friday. They must be better; they can’t be much worse. Phoenix leads the NBA in points allowed.

THE BIG MEN: JaVale McGee started nine straight games at center, but Pachulia started the last two. The Suns are long up front, so McGee could be in line for a start or more minutes. In addition, Damian Jones, the team’s other 7-footer, also could get playing time.

STREAKING WITH THREES: The Suns own the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-point make (1,128). The Warriors are No. 2 (1,121). Both streaks are endangered. Curry, Thompson and Durant are out for the Warriors. Booker will either sit out or play with a splint on his shooting hand.