Warriors

The more Steve Kerr pregame comedy, the better

The more Steve Kerr pregame comedy, the better

Among the things that make Steve Kerr a media dreamboat is his willingness to play for a laugh. It is underrated next to his team’s performances, his gift for press conference gab, and his willingness to go political either on command or when the vagaries of the high pick and roll start to lose the crowd.
 
But when he decided to clip his fingernails for humorous effect during his pregame presser when the questions went boilerplate (as they often do with this team), he may have revealed a bit more about his team than he intended.
 
Namely, that he may suspect that mere metronomic excellence isn’t mesmerizing the audience as it once did, and questions like “Why are you starting Andre Iguodala?” before another standard blowout win suggest that the gold mine is beginning to play itself out.
 
In other words, he’s resorting to props in Game 12, and once you go to props, it’s hard to go back.
 
Kerr’s comedic timing is excellent by coaches’ standards because of his essential wit and his superior material. He has a team he doesn’t really have to protect from the evil media hordes (even though they continue to accumulate and are passing from horde-status to full-on route armies), and he isn’t overly obsessive about secrecy or the public’s right to not know.
 
But he also likes to excel at pressers because they give him a reason to go out and do them (other than fear of fines), and he isn’t one to hide his smarts behind one-word answers or faux-grump. He doesn’t hide his brilliance as a communicator in part because, well, it takes too much energy to do so, and he is going to be him.
 
Thus, going to prop humor this early is a bit dismaying. What next, makeovers? Harmonica solos? Juggling cleavers? Costumes? Shakespearean soliloquies with a face full of helium as part of a “Stevie Does The Classics 4 U?” team promotion?
 
We kid here, but not that much. He knows we’re stuck for new ways to parse the obvious (the Warriors win all the time, everyone expects them to win all the time, and they don’t bitch about touches or attention or credit or who got the last piece of salmon on the charter to Boston), and where narrative fails, comedy steps in.
 
Thus, we suggest he bring in surrogates from time to time to break the monotony. Not assistant coaches or other club employees or, worst of all, kids; I mean, you don’t listen to your own children so why would someone else’s be that riveting? I’m thinking entertainers from other venues, on a quid pro quo basis: “Sure we can get you courtside, but you have to do a little something for us.” Who wouldn’t want 15 minutes of Dave Chappelle before that December 14 showdown with Dallas?
 
Look, it’s an idea, and it’s well worth considering. I mean, if he’d have gone toenails rather than fingernails Wednesday, you’d know how right I am with this.

Ex-Cavs GM changes his mind on Kevin Durant's future with Warriors

Ex-Cavs GM changes his mind on Kevin Durant's future with Warriors

Programming note: Watch Wednesday night's Warriors-Thunder game streaming live at 7:30 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

David Griffin knows a thing or two about drama. When you're the general manager for a team that employs LeBron James, you find yourself dealing with some turmoil year round.

Griffin -- who now resides in Sonoma -- keeps tabs on the Warriors and has unique insight into crisis management. And on the inaugural episode of The Haberstroh Show podcast, Griffin spoke about the Draymond Green-Kevin Durant situation in Golden State.

"I really believed coming into the year that it was a foregone conclusion that he was gonna stay," the former Cavaliers GM said about Durant's pending free agency. "And a lot of this was just window dressing to cover up the fact that when he went there, he knew he couldn't get full max until his third year.

[RELATEDWhy the Warriors won't trade Kevin Durant or Draymond Green]

"And now clearly I don't believe that. And I think if you're the Warriors -- you won 73 games without this dude. And there's a (group) of guys in that locker room that have been together -- they're the nucleus for an exisiting period of time.

"Livingston, Iguodala, Klay, Draymond, Steph -- those five guys were there prior to KD, and they're still gonna be damn good without KD, and I think they all know that. What they can't do is win without Draymond or Steph."

The current perception is that Durant will sign elsewhere when he becomes a free agent in July. Obviously, Golden State hopes to re-sign the two-time NBA Finals MVP to a long-term extension, but Durant has given no indication that he wants to remain in the Bay Area for many years to come.

"I think they're going to do what they need to do to support KD," Griffin added. "But I also think organizationally -- if you're that good and you run yourselves that well, in this city, you win that many championships -- if there's something else that KD is looking for, good on you, man, I hope you find it because we're not changing for you.

"We're about the right things already, and if that doesn't speak to you, tough break."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Why the Warriors won't trade Kevin Durant or Draymond Green

Why the Warriors won't trade Kevin Durant or Draymond Green

OAKLAND -- Here we go. A full week after the Squabble at Staples, folks have been taking sides. Social media is buzzing, with no sign of slowing, over what the Warriors should do about Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

Some believe the Warriors might be best served by doing impulsive, like concluding, in November, that they must trade one of them.

Not a chance. Unless either of them requests such a move -- which is highly doubtful even as each copes with his own disenchantment -- the Warriors wouldn’t do that, nor should they, certainly not now.

To do so anytime soon is to apply addition-by-subtraction logic, which sometimes is wise. It’s always wise only if a team’s unraveling can be traced to a single individual. That guy then has to go. See, for example, the case of Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Butler made it abundantly clear that he didn’t want to be in Minnesota. He invented ways to undermine coach Tom Thibodeau, the man Butler claims is his kind of coach and the reason why, 16 months earlier, he was thrilled to join the Timberwolves. The team was 4-9. It had lost five consecutive games, four by double-digits.

The Timberwolves needed to trade Butler for the sake of their playoff chances. It was a clear case of him or them.

The Warriors have an altogether different situation in both the past and the present. Whereas Minnesota last season felt the briefest glow of the postseason for the first time in 14 years, the Warriors have made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals, winning three -- the last two with Durant as the MVP.

They are two-time defending champs. They have, as a group, with Durant and Green playing central roles, achieved at the highest level.

The Warriors over the past week have lost four of five, the last three in a row. There are mitigating factors, notably the total absence of Stephen Curry and the partial absence of Green; the two All-Stars have combined to miss 11 games this season.

But even as they stink on ice, the Warriors are 12-6 -- exactly one game off their pace of last season, when through 18 games their four All-Stars combined to miss two, one each by Curry and Durant.

Green isn’t pleased about being suspended for a game and losing out on about $120,00. He also happens to be nursing a sprained toe. He’s not in the best of moods and won’t be until he feels better, gets back to playing and winning. He’ll get over the suspension because he’s a professional and he plays for his teammates.

Durant is annoyed about being vilified by Green, in public, during a game. There is no sign that he is ready to put this behind him. He’s on edge, still carrying anger/frustration, and it’s hurting his performance.

Until Durant comes to Warriors management with a desire to be traded and a list of preferred teams, he remains for at least the rest of this season. He will not play as poorly all season as he did last week. It’s not who he is. He has too much at stake. No professional gives up, and Durant is a pro.

There is some tantalizing speculation, such as Durant or Green to Toronto for Kawhi Leonard. The salary swap can be worked out, but is Kawhi the right fit? He, like Durant, is expected to opt out of his contract next summer.

Nope. Not going to happen.

The reason the Warriors welcomed DeMarcus Cousins is because they were confident in their culture. They had faith that between their foundation players and Cousins being motivated to command a lucrative long-term contract next summer, this stood a good chance of working.

That culture isn’t broken. It’s being tested at a level never before known. All the nagging behind-the-scenes issues of last season don’t amount to what the Warriors faced last week.

But the Warriors owe it to themselves to give this roster a chance to work this out over the coming weeks. The investment is too high, the consequences too substantial, the potential payoff too rewarding.

So, no, there should be no consideration of a trade involving Durant or Green. It’s November. The team is wounded. Klay Thompson is struggling under the burden of trying to compensate for the scoring void in Curry’s absence. Durant is playing as if he’s a prisoner of his deepest thoughts.

You don’t break up a championship core unless age begins to close its window or someone insists he want out. Doing it before then is indicative of panic, and these Warriors are not known for that.