Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr’s Critical Comments On AAU Resurface

Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr's Critical Comments On AAU Resurface

Getty Image / Lachlan Cunningham

Steve Kerr is an NBA legend. He’s a five-time champion as a player, three with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs, and has won four more as the coach of the Golden State Warriors.

The deadeye shooter helped develop Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, two of the greatest shooters of all time. There’s no doubt that he is a respected mind in the game of basketball.

Of course, players like Steph and Klay grew up playing AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball. AAU is now used colloquially to describe basically any travel basketball, whether it is technically AAU or not. But, those two had NBA fathers in Del Curry and Mychal Thompson. Most kids don’t have that kind of guidance, though.

And, Steve Kerr made comments on AAU basketball back in 2016 that went viral on Reddit on Friday.

Here’s the full quote.

“Even if today’s players are incredibly gifted, they grow up in a basketball environment that can only be called counterproductive. AAU basketball has replaced high school ball as the dominant form of development in the teen years. I coached my son’s AAU team for three years; it’s a genuinely weird subculture. Like everywhere else, you have good coaches and bad coaches, or strong programs and weak ones, but what troubled me was how much winning is devalued in the AAU structure. Teams play game after game after game, sometimes winning or losing four times in one day. Very rarely do teams ever hold a practice. Some programs fly in top players from out of state for a single weekend to join their team. Certain players play for one team in the morning and another one in the afternoon. If mom and dad aren’t happy with their son’s playing time, they switch club teams and stick him on a different one the following week. The process of growing as a team basketball player — learning how to become part of a whole, how to fit into something bigger than oneself — becomes completely lost within the AAU fabric.”

I’m curious as to why these comments are coming back to light now. Let’s see what some Redditors had to say.

These are all good points. Personally, I think NBA teams should be opening up academies like they do in European soccer. Players would develop much better. I’d be interest to hear the thought of Steve Kerr on that.

Garrett Carr
Garrett Carr is a recent graduate of Penn State University. He lives and dies Penn State football, wrestling, and the New York Mets.