Dennis Rodman is a Hall of Famer, a five-time NBA champion, and arguably the greatest rebounder of all-time but what many people don't know is that "The Worm" was a big-time source of inspiration for the Golden State Warriors.
On a recent episode of the Runnin' Plays podcast, Warriors head coach and former Bulls sharpshooter Steve Kerr talked about how a popular Rodman phrase stuck with him throughout his career.
"I'll play the game for free, but you get paid for the bulls--t."
Over his long and illustrious tenure with the Dubs, Kerr has dealt with a lot of "bulls--t" and scrutiny. The Warriors caught the world's attention with Steph Curry's unanimous MVP, their 73-9 season, and their acquisition of superstar Kevin Durant following that magical year and then later losing him to the Brooklyn Nets.
Kerr has been a calm and steady hand at the wheel for Golden State throughout all of this and by all accounts is a beloved coach despite blowups over time with volatile star Draymond Geen. Much like the '90s Bulls, Kerr's Warriors got over any internal strife and dominated to the tune of five NBA Finals appearances and three titles since the 2014-15 season.
The main reason you get paid is not because you get to play basketball, it's because you get traded, and cut, and booed and injured. And there's a lot of difficulty that comes with all the great stuff.
-Steve Kerr on focusing on the bigger picture (on the Runnin' Plays podcast)
The Warriors were 15-50 -- the worst record in the league -- when the season was postponed but Rodman's words still serve as an essential source of inspiration, perhaps now more than ever. The 2019-20 Warriors experienced NBA life "on the other side of the tracks," but played hard every night with Rodman's credo being the best reminder to shut out all the outside noise that surrounds a losing team.
"I think the way we approach it as a staff, is we try to talk about keeping things in perspective ... we would all basically play basketball for free because that's what we've done our whole lives," Kerr said. "And so I never feel like any of us get paid to play or coach basketball."
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