Warriors

Steve Kerr takes on the 'Kardashian of the NBA' in epic rant about society

Steve Kerr takes on the 'Kardashian of the NBA' in epic rant about society

Steve Kerr is never one to back down from tackling the hot button issues.

So after he answered the important question about Kevin Durant's healthy (he's day-to-day with a right calf strain), he was asked about the drama surrounding LaVar Ball's comments about Luke Walton and the reaction from Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, who blasted ESPN for running the story.

What transpired next was a nearly three-minute response that touched on everything:

"This is the world we live in now. I was thinking about ESPN. They laid off, I don't know, 100 people. How many people did they lay off over the last year? More? Well over 100. Many of whom were really talented journalists covering the NBA. This is not an ESPN judgment, it's a societal thing more than anything. Were we're going is were going away from covering the game and getting close to sensationalized news. It's not even news really, it's just complete nonsense. But if you package that irrational nonsense with glitter and ribbon, people are going to watch. I've talked to people in the media this year. I say 'Why do you guys have to cover that guy?' They say they don't want to, nobody wants to, but our bosses tell us we have to because of the ratings, because of the readership. Somewhere, I guess this is in Lithania, LaVar Ball is laughing at all of us. People are eating out of his hands for no apparent reason, other than he's become like the Kardashian of the NBA, and I guess that sells and that's what's true in politics, in entertainment and now in sports. It doesn't matter if there is any substance involved with an issue. It's just, can we make it really interesting, for no apparent reason. There's nothing interesting about that story. Do you know how many parents of my players are sitting at home going 'Why isn't he playing my kid?' And yet, we're sticking a microphone in his face because it apparently gets ratings. I don't know how cares, but people care. They must care, or ESPN wouldn't be spending whatever they're spending to send reporters to Lithunia when they are laying off people who are writing really substantial (stories), people like Ethan Strauss and Marc Stein are getting laid off. Again, this is not a condemnation of ESPN. It' not. It's societal issue. It's been going on for man, many years. And it's invading the sports world now."

Kerr also addressed Walton getting dragged into this. Before becoming the Lakers head coach last season, Walton spent two years as an assistant coach for Kerr. They are both University of Arizona alums.

"I feel horrible for Luke. That's my guy. He's one of my best friends. He shouldn't have to deal with this. To me, one of the things about the NBA is it's always been a haven from the parents. The guys who coach high school are the ones who have to deal with the parents. I've never had to talk to a parent who's been upset about playing time. I'm sure there are plenty out there, but they don't have a voice in the NBA. But for whatever reason, we're giving this guy a voice and Luke's gotta deal with it and it's a shame."

Asked if he's talked to Walton about the current situation, Kerr didn't answer, but he offered this:

"He's handling it great. He's doing all he can. It's just part of his gig."

One thing Steve Kerr, Warriors always looking for when building roster

One thing Steve Kerr, Warriors always looking for when building roster

Everything with the NBA is up in the air right now.

But for the sake of this exercise, let's assume that at some point this summer or fall we have the NBA draft and free agency opens.

The Warriors have a lot of tools at their disposal to improve the roster and will be aggressive in doing so.

"The one thing we're always focused on is two-way players regardless of position," coach Steve Kerr told Warriors TV play-by-play man Bob Fitzgerald. "The league largely has become position-less. You've got point guards and centers and then a whole bunch of guys like Andre Iguodala or Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard -- whoever you want to say.

"Somebody who can shoot 3s, who can guard multiple spots, can handle the ball, make decisions -- the more of those guys on your roster, the better. Multi-skilled, versatile players with size."

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So if you're a Warriors fan and you're thinking about which draft prospects and/or free agents the franchise will target, keep Kerr's comments in mind.

[RELATED: Dubs' Paschall explains his great chemistry with Draymond]

He and general manager Bob Myers repeatedly over the years have discussed their desire to add guys who value both ends of the floor.

"You got to take the best guys available with an eye towards versatility because that's where the game is headed," Kerr added.

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Zaza Pachulia still in awe of 2016-17 Warriors' unquestioned greatness

Zaza Pachulia still in awe of 2016-17 Warriors' unquestioned greatness

Listening to and watching the likes of Stephen Curry , Steve Kerr and Zaza Pachulia lately, it’s as if Warriors of present and recent past are only now grasping that their dream was reality.

Which makes sense. When could they have savored the past five years? They’ve been too busy with nine-month seasons and nine-day summers to fully grasp the magnitude of their accomplishments.

Now, with routine activities on pause, it’s floating into their hearts and minds. They’re filling the void by looking back, and what they see is blowing their minds.

You see Curry and Chris Paul looking back on that night in 2015 when Steph put CP on skates and dropped him on the Staples Center floor. They’re laughing about it now, but that play was Curry planting a Warriors flag as his team was taking ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

You listen as Pachulia waxes euphoric about the days when he was the custodian for Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Curry. And getting nostalgic about the games, the postgames and the camaraderie, especially in 2016-17, when KD arrived.

“Even watching teams now,” Pachulia told NBC Sports Bay Area, “I don’t see any teams -- even us -- but none of the 30 teams are even close to what was going on with the 2016-17 team.”

That squad took an absolute thrashing from the Spurs on opening night, 129-100, at home. The Warriors regrouped and won 16 of their next 17. They were 50-9 before they lost back-to-back games. They had a 14-game win streak, a 12-game win streak and two seven-game streaks.

They were 67-15, all while treating the regular season as a rehearsal for the postseason, which they opened with a 15-game win streak.

“This might sound selfish,” Zaza said. “But the atmosphere and energy and chemistry, the type of basketball we played ... I don’t think we’re going see anything like that in the near future.

“And I’m not even talking about the talent. Do we need to talk about talent? It was crazy. Crazy. Listen, in the parking at our facility, on my right side was KD and on my left side was Steph. It was amazing. It’s still amazing.”

You hear Kerr recalling plays and games and moments that deserve a chapter in a book.

“When you just go back and think about the games, or watch individual games, it’s amazing how great that team was,” Kerr said recently. “And how well they played together even through the different personnel changes.”

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These guys never get tired of reliving it because they haven’t relived it enough to get tired of it.

There will be, someday, a documentary about the Warriors from 2014-2019. Has to be, considering the collection of talent, the high highs and low lows, the infighting they attributed to being family members seeking the best of each other.

Remember when Klay described these matters as “little bickerments?” Defined, in short, as a disagreement that exceeds the baseline for bickering but fails to reach the level of argument.

The calmest people in the room under those circumstances were Klay and Zaza, the buddies who perfectly centered that vast space between comatose and excitable.

And now Zaza is talking about the team dinners. Family, again. And the party that Curry hosted that led to the famous aerial team photo with the Super Villains backdrop. Everybody was glancing up except Klay, who was checking his phone.

“We had a picture taken by a drone!” Pachulia recalled. “We wanted to make sure everybody was in it, but it was hard with so many tall people to make everybody visible from a straight angle. So, we decided to fly the drone and took the picture that way.”

[RELATED: Why Steph-KD Warriors were Bay's best dynasty]

Those Warriors were young. Winning was fresh. Losing, particularly the 2016 Finals, gave them white-hot incentive. Their response was a season for the ages, one that belongs in the conversation with such fabled clubs as the ’27 New York Yankees, ’72 Miami Dolphins and ’85  Chicago Bears.

“Now that I have so much time, I’m able to look at so much of it,” Pachulia said. “Are you kidding me? I’m enjoying every box-out, and every screen. This is the best thing I could have done for this team, set screens for these amazing shooters. We’re winning. We’re destroying everybody.

“But you actually had to be in the locker room to really understand all of what I mean. A lot of people might wonder what I’m talking about. But I’m telling you, with all the details, the small details, the big details, winning a championship, building relationships, friendships, caring about each other, enjoying it and having fun.

“Man, it was priceless.”