Steve Kerr again goes much bigger than basketball: 'We’re all in this together'


Steve Kerr again goes much bigger than basketball: 'We’re all in this together'

OAKLAND -- Walking into the interview room and taking a seat, Steve Kerr opened his pregame news conference by completely ignoring basketball.

Justifiably, it turns out.

The Warriors coach spoke about the recent death of Steve Williams, a longtime usher/security specialist at Oracle Arena, describing him as a “beloved figure.” Kerr spent a couple minutes expressing his personal condolences to the Williams family, as well as on behalf of the Warriors.

“Everybody here is very sad,” Kerr said, nearly two hours before tipoff against the Toronto Raptors. “We want to thank him for his wonderful years of service. He was a good man.”

Having captured the curiosity and attention of the room, Kerr moved on to another topic suited much more to real life, and real lives, than basketball.

Discrimination based on sexual identity -- and beyond.

As part of their continuing effort to reach out to all communities, the Warriors chose Wednesday as LGBTQ Night.

“I’m proud to be part of an organization and to live in a region and an area that really embraces diversity,” Kerr said. “There’s never been a more important time in our country to respect the person next to you, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual preference or sexual identity.”

No one would have held it against Kerr if he failed to acknowledge the death of a behind-the-scenes employee or the promotional event orchestrated by the team’s marketing/public relations departments.

It would have been enough that, in addition to dedicating a night to the cause, commemorative T-shirts were given to those who purchased special event tickets via a group offer.

But that’s not how Kerr thinks. As much as he studies the game and interacts with the men on his roster, he also makes time for the world beyond basketball.

“It’s an important night for us and we want to welcome everybody from the LGBTQ community,” Kerr said. “If you’re coming the game tonight and your child says, ‘What does that mean?’ Explain it to them. Explain to them the importance of loving the person next to you and respecting them, no matter who they are or where they come from. They’re human beings. We’re all human beings. We’re all in this together.”

When basketball finally merged with the society beyond, Kerr was prepared. With Klay Thompson pledging $1,000 for every point he scores toward North Bay fire relief efforts, the coach was asked if he might extend Klay Thompson’s minutes.

The answer: No.

“I think I’d just have to do my job,” Kerr said. “I’ll add some money to the pot instead.”

Warriors booed at NBA Draft when Adam Silver congratulates 'all-time great team'

Warriors booed at NBA Draft when Adam Silver congratulates 'all-time great team'

The Warriors are the villains of the NBA.

That much was confirmed Thursday as the NBA Draft festivities were beginning.

During commissioner Adam Silver's opening remarks, he congratulated the Warriors on winning back-to-back championships and was greeted with boos.

"This past season was defined by countless unforgettable highlights, including a record number of 3-pointers and the leagues highest scoring average in nearly 30 years. The playoff picture was decided in overtime on the last night of the regular season. Both conference finals were decided in Game 7s for the first time in 39 years and the NBA Finals featured some of the all-time greatest players and an all-time great team, the Golden State Warriors," Silver said.

At that point, the fans in Barclay Center let out a huge round of boos.

"Let me congratulate them on back-to-back championships. The Warriors entire organization embodies the values that have long defined this league, the quality and inclusion which judges made solely on talent, effort and achievement," Silver said.

Silver will mention the Warriors again when he announces the No. 28 overall pick of the first round.

Bob Myers looks into his crystal ball, predicts what NBA game will look like in five years


Bob Myers looks into his crystal ball, predicts what NBA game will look like in five years

Bob Myers knows a thing or two about basketball.

He was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2015 and 2017.

On Thursday, Myers joined BJ Armstrong and Gerald Brown on the podcast "In the Key."

Armstrong -- the former NBA guard and current agent (he reps Draymond Green) -- asked Myers the following question:

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"We have this era of small ball that forever you will be associated with ... you guys are without question the best at small ball ... what does the game look like five years from now?"

"What's happening is -- the center position is really the one taking the biggest hit," Myers answered. "The 3-point shot has changed what centers are asked to do ... going under a screen now is almost unheard of because the guards can shoot the 3 so well ... so now you're asking a 7 foot guy to somehow either hedge out on the screen and disrupt the pick-and-roll there. Or switch it.

"Now how many 7 foot men in the world are capable of staying in front of Steph Curry, anybody that's a perimeter-oriented player with rules that don't allow hand checking?

"So where do I think it's going? Clearly, we've gotten to a point where we are asking big guys to do things that they are not comfortable doing, and we're taking advantage of that ... I think where it's going is because I think the whole game has changed to the 3-point shot -- as we move forward in high school -- we didn't switch screens in high school. But if you come up now, the first practice, you're switching screens in high school; you're switching screens in college.

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"So if you take a big guy that's 10 years old right now that's 6'11" -- he's probably switching screens on the playground. So the point is, it's going to catch up where you're going to see a 5 that has been asked to switch screens since he was 12 or 13 years old, that when he gets to the NBA he's going to go, 'Yeah. I got this.' So the center position isn't going away."

Without question -- in both the present and the future -- big men are going to need to be able to hold their own when defending guards.

When you look at the upcoming draft, there are a lot of "centers" who are projected to to be taken in the Top 10.

And their ability to handle themselves on the perimeter defensively is under the microscope.

"I could be totally wrong on this," Myers said. "We could end this conversation and you guys could say, 'he's an idiot.' (laughter). I think everything will eventually catch up."

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