Steve Kerr Upset with Warriors’ Focus and Discipline


After the Golden State Warriors’ 110-97 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr went on a bit of a tirade about the team’s lack of focus and discipline sometimes. This might sound odd, given the fact the Warriors blew out the Timberwolves, and they received 25 points from Stephen Curry in just 31 minutes and 21 points from Klay Thompson in just 24 minutes.

This sounds like a solid win, right? Wrong.

Kerr’s postgame press conference last night seemed like almost a therapy session in which the head coach had a lot to get off his chest. He certainly didn’t hold back in his assessment of the team’s overall performance last night.

Here are some notable quotes from his postgame press conference last night:

"“Our team has a tendency at times to want to put on a show, instead of just making the right play,” he said. “What they need to understand is, making the right play will provide the show. If you just make the simple pass three times in a row, and we get an open look or we get a cut to the basket for a dunk, the crowd is still going to go crazy.“But the one-handed, silly stuff . . . I don’t know if it’s showmanship or whatever, but that’s not going to get us very far in the playoffs. I know that.”…“The whole point is we’re a good team, but we want to be a great team,” he said. “To go from good to great, it’s all the details. Everything matters. Maybe the biggest thing for us is our focus. If we can focus and play 48 minutes with an idea and a purpose and some mindful decision-making, then we’re going to be really hard to beat.“But we’re not there yet.”"

Some of these quotes might seem a little harsh to a casual fan, but Kerr is completely right. The Warriors were able to blow out a team last night, yes, but at times, they simply played sloppy basketball and focused too much on making the highlight play, since they were ahead. This Warriors team is certainly an entertaining bunch that likes to please the crowd with spectacular plays, but as Kerr said, the focus needs to instead be on fundamentals and making the right play.

This Warriors team has so much talent, and they haven’t even completely unlocked all of their talent and potential yet. Kerr knows how successful this team can be, but he understands the importance of execution, given his playing experience and the knowledge of the game that he’s acquired from elite coaches such as Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson, and he’s trying to get this Warriors team to understand the importance too.

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After their loss to the Clippers on Christmas Day, Draymond Green showed some fiery passion when explaining that the Warriors played “too nice” and lacked intensity. This might have been true that game, but their occasional lapses in discipline, which Kerr alluded to, is a more serious issue.

Kerr’s speech last night shows exactly why he will succeed as a coach. He’s not satisfied with a win. He demands the best of his players every game, no matter who the opponent was. This is a very different style than how former Warriors head coach Mark Jackson would conduct his postgame press conferences with the media. After a win, he’d say nothing but compliments, which is fine, but there seemed to be a little bit of a lack of accountability.

Even after a disappointing loss that the Warriors should’ve won, which happened many times last season, Coach Jackson would just use cliche answers such as “we need to be better.” Kerr has the respect of his players and coaching staff, but he’s not afraid to light a fire under them, proverbially speaking, and show them that they can be better.

The Warriors got the win last night, but Kerr is not satisfied. And that’s why the Warriors will be even better this year than last year.

Next: Why Steve Kerr Was the Missing Piece All Along for the Warriors