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. 

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

If you ask most fans, they would say Steph Curry's greatest strength is his shooting ability.

After all, the Warriors' point guard owns the single-season NBA record for 3-pointers made. He's a few years away from owning the all-time record for most made triples.

But for future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, Curry's greatest strength comes when he actually doesn't have the basketball in his hands.

During an Instagram Live chat, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade were asked to comment on current NBA players. When they got to Curry, Union started.

"So everybody talks about, obviously Steph can shoot," Union said. "I mean, Steph is ... Steph Curry is one of those people, everything you imagine Steph Curry is, he actually is in real life."

Wade continued that thought and then offered his analysis of Curry.

"He is the nicest person in the world," Wade said. "But one of Steph's greatest strengths that a lot of people ... some people, but a lot of people don't because they talk about all the threes and ball-handling is Steph never stops moving off the ball. You guys see when Steph gives the ball up, that's when he's his most dangerous. And that's crazy to think, right? Because when he has the ball, he's unguardable.

"But when he does not have the ball, forget about it. He's like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, those guys when it comes to conditioning and shape that he's in and the way he's able to run. That's when he gets scary, when he gives the ball up."

Here's some evidence in case you need a reminder of Curry's ability to move without the basketball:

After Wade's final game against the Warriors in the Bay Area on Feb. 10, 2019, he swapped jerseys with Curry.

[RELATED: Steph, NBA facing harsh reality]

But in his last game ever against the Warriors, on Feb. 27, 2019, Wade broke Curry's heart with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

On the morning of Wednesday, March 11, the world learned that the Warriors would play the Brooklyn Nets the following night at Chase Center without any fans in the building.

The decision was made in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

So who broke the news about the situation to Golden State's players? How did they react?

David Lombardi of The Athletic has the details:

“I had to go with our general manager Bob Myers and meet with our team in the locker room after practice that day and say, ‘Hey, guys, we’re playing tomorrow night and we’re gonna be playing in an arena that has no fans in it,'” (Warriors team president) Rick Welts said, recalling that moment via videochat during a virtual sports technology conference Friday. “And the looks on our players’ faces were like, ‘What? How in the world is that gonna work?’ It was really quiet for quite a while.

“Then I think Steph Curry said, ‘Can we bring our own playlist? Can we play our own music?'”

As you all are aware, there was no music because there was no game between Golden State and Brooklyn.

Later on Wednesday, the NBA suspended the season indefinitely after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

A little over two weeks later and nobody has any clue when the next NBA game will be played.

[RELATED: What Steph, trainer talk most about during virus shutdown]

“How can sports be the place where people feel safe gathering in large numbers again?” Welts said. “I do think this is a little different than what we’ve seen in the past because I do think there’s gonna be a moment in time when the medical world tells us it’s OK to resume normal life. I think there’s a second psychological part of it, though.

“When are people going to truly feel comfortable and safe doing that? Am I really going to be comfortable putting myself in that environment with 18,000 other people at Chase Center to go watch a game? I’m not so sure those two things will happen at the same time.”

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