Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors have had one hell of a past few months. In addition to losing to the Toronto Raptors in last season’s NBA Finals, the Dubs saw sharpshooter Klay Thompson go down with a torn ACL — with the All-Star expected to miss all of this season — and, more recently, just lost Steph Curry for a few months, too, leading many to wonder if the Warriors will subtly tank this season and just aim for next year.
In addition to the unfortunate injuries, the Warriors lost, arguably, the best player on the planet in free-agency, Kevin Durant, who left Golden State after winning two titles. Of course, the split between the two ended a bit awkwardly, with Durant tearing his Achilles in the NBA Finals, which led to some pointing blame on the Warriors’ medical staff and coaches to rush him back.
Fast-forward to more recently, Steve Kerr is still fielding questions about his now former superstar player, with the head coach recently talking to Bill Simmons on his new podcast, “Book of Basketball 2.0,” about Durant departing. When discussing that exact issues, Kerr gave some candid insight, even going as far as saying he thought KD was “restless” after winning his first title, and seemed to hint that the coach thought the player felt a bit unchallenged.
Per The Score:
“The same reason we got Kevin in the first place was the reason we lost him,” Kerr said. “He was restless. Maybe he wanted to play a little different style.
“His first year with us, he was a sponge and he would ask questions constantly … I think he embraced it, he enjoyed it. That team was unstoppable, between the ball movement and the off-ball movement … With the isolation brilliance of Kevin, that team was unstoppable.”
“The following year, in 17-18, we lost some of that and it started to drift, and I felt like Kevin started to drift,” Kerr said.
“My feeling was, he started to get restless. Like, ‘This is all there is. We won the title last year, we’re rolling again this year, but whatever it is I’m searching for, I’m still not finding it.’
” … We had a really good thing and then you could just feel it start to slip.”
That’s not a knock on Kevin Durant from Steve Kerr, but, it is an interesting take. Considering the Warriors were absolutely stacked in KD’s first season with the Dubs — going 67-15 in the regular season and then 16-1 in the postseason — it would make sense that the superstar player may have become a bit complacent. After all, he had tried to win a title for so long and then, boom, as soon as he did it, and quite easily, it’s natural to sort of take a step back.
It’s interesting that Steve Kerr and the Warriors continue to get questions about Durant, even though the All-Star bolted. For whatever reason, he’ll always be linked to the franchise — which plans to retire his number at some point — and, until he heals up and returns to the court again, we’ll probably keep getting insight as to how such a great thing unraveled in a mere three seasons.