Steve Kerr critical of Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump after mass shootings

NBC Sports Bay Area/James Ham

Steve Kerr critical of Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump after mass shootings

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr have different approaches to the game of basketball, but on social and political issues, they often walk in lockstep. 

On Tuesday at Team USA basketball training camp, the Popovich was asked about the mass shooting that took place in both El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend that killed over 30 people. 

“It’d be a lot better if people in power got off their a--es and got something done,” the Spurs coach said.

Kerr was asked a similar question and had no problem expressing his opinion on the subject as well. 

“When you have 97 percent of the people in the country that want universal background checks and the senate ... not won't pass it, won't even vote on it because Mitch McConnell won't allow them to vote on it because the NRA has bought him off, then you have a problem,” Kerr told media members in Las Vegas, Nev.

“I think that’s the issue,” the Kerr continued. “We have to have elected leaders who are willing to value human life over their own jobs and their contributions from the NRA.” 

Senate Majority Leader McConnell wasn’t the only person Kerr was asked about. When pressed on what he would say to President Donald Trump, if given an opportunity, the Warriors coach shook his head.

“Nothing, I wouldn’t bother talking to him,” Kerr said. 

An outspoken proponent of gun safety and gun reform, Kerr is involved with the Brady Campaign, the Sandy Hook Promise and March for Our Lives campaigns and has no problem discussing difficult subjects with the media in the past. 

He’s used his platform as a successful NBA coach to voice his opinion on a multitude of subjects and clearly isn’t shying away from the questions.

Following the main media scrum, Kerr took a moment to discuss the difficulty of talking basketball one moment and then wrestling with an important social or political topic the next.

“The only reason I talk about that stuff is because I’m passionate about it,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. “If you asked me about mechanical engineering I wouldn’t know what the hell I was talking about and I wouldn’t answer it.”

“If you want to talk to me about gun safety measures or political rhetoric, I’m very interested in that stuff,” Kerr added. 

Like Popovich, Kerr seems to have found his voice. Kerr's father, Malcolm, was assassinated by gunmen in Lebanon in 1984 and the Warriors coach has not shied away from expressing his opinions on gun control. Kerr has a platform and he is using it to express his beliefs

“I’ve grown a lot more comfortable speaking about it as I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser,” Kerr said. “I don’t know if that’s true - I can’t hold my tongue sometimes and I’m always getting in trouble, but I think now is the time when all of us as Americans have to speak out and have our voices heard and let our elected officials know that what’s happening in so many cases is unacceptable. We’ve got to hold them accountable to protect us and so I encourage everybody to speak strongly for what they believe in.” 

Sticking to basketball is no longer an option for Kerr. Love it or hate it, that is his right as a US citizen. 

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

It's always tough to beat the Jazz in Utah, as the Warriors were reminded last month. Golden State was going to be a massive underdog Friday night as it was, and Thursday's injury report certainly won't change that.

After suffering an embarrassing home overtime loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Dubs will try to right the ship against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert & Co., but they'll have to do it without at least one of their best players -- and we don't mean Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.

Draymond Green is listed as out (rest) for Friday's game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, while rookie Eric Paschall is doubtful with left hip soreness. Additionally, both Ky Bowman and Alen Smailagic are on G League assignment. 

[RELATED: Dubs' Bowman won't play vs. Jazz, will make G League debut]

With Green out and Paschall doubtful, one would expect Golden State's (relatively) healthy bigs like Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss to get some extended playing time against the Jazz.

Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard


Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

You might think of Steph Curry as a point guard.

After all, he's short, brings the ball up the court sometimes and appears on the far left of those nifty starting lineup graphics prior to tip-off with PG next to his name.

But in this age of run-and-gun positionless basketball, is Curry really a point guard? Not if you ask Gary Payton.

In fact, the nine-time NBA All-Star believes there only are two true point guards left in The Association.

"That's a question that is kind of difficult for old people," Payton told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock and Kerith Burke on the "Runnin' Plays Podcast" when asked about the best point guards in today's game. "You look at Stephen Curry. You put him as a point guard. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at [Russell] Westbrook. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at James Harden. He's not a point guard, he's a two-guard.

"To me, there are only two guards in this league that are true point guards. That's [Rajon] Rondo and Chris Paul. 

"Now, Chris Paul has turned into a shooting guard more, but Rondo is a true point guard," Payton continued. "He looks first to get people off. He does his defense and he makes people better around him. Not, let me score 30. Not, let me shoot a jump shot first. He's not doing that ... If we name a lot of point guards that's right now in this NBA, they are not point guards."

At least Harden can finally be in the same category as Steph, right?

[RELATED: Loss to Knicks shows Warriors have earned NBA's worst record]

While Steph might not be the prototypical point guard in the old-fashioned sense, there's no doubt he'll one day be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., as one of the greatest scoring guards in NBA history.

In any era, that's pretty, pretty good.