Warriors: Steve Kerr and Draymond Green focused on development

Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Golden State Warriors pillars Steve Kerr and Draymond Green are career winners, but now face a losing season and a group of untested Dubs.

If you’ve watched professional basketball at all in the past five years, you would have witnessed one of the greatest uninterrupted runs of dominance in NBA history put on by none other than the
Golden State Warriors.

Five straight finals appearances. New single game win total. And the absolute domination of any and every team that couldn’t keep up with this new flashy “let it fly” way of playing that the Warriors patented.

You also would have heard that the Dubs were ruining the parity in the league by signing top talent Kevin Durant. That Steve Kerr really inherited this team from Mark Jackson and doesn’t deserve any credit for their success.

And you’ve definitely heard that Draymond Green shoots like he’s wearing a backpack full of hardcover textbooks.

The present state of the Warriors is pretty bleak. They’re sitting at 4-15 — that’s worst in the league. Even worse than the New York Knicks.

Looking at things with a new perspective and with a fondness of the past, it’s hard to not look at some of those negative comments from the haters and realize that in a way, they were right.

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The Warriors were incredibly lucky over this period of time, and they were privileged enough to have so many things go their way. It’s what makes this sudden and hard fall that much more bitter.

Like everything that could have gone wrong finally caught up to them and happened all at once.

But look, this is what happens with good teams. They get lucky. Until they aren’t. This isn’t the first team to go through this. And it won’t be the last.

My dad has always told me that there’s no such thing as luck. And that it’s really just a simple equation. Preparation + Opportunity = Luck. Some teams are prepared, but never get an opportunity. And some teams aren’t prepared, but do. It’s as simple as that.

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The Dubs were ready, so they went for it. And the result was history.

Even though they were in the Finals just five months ago, that all seems like a distant memory. In the dark shadows of this sad season, there are two members of this team that still embody that “luck” wholeheartedly.

And in fact, they’ve been in perfect situations for so long that the state of losing is really only a concept for them. They don’t have much experience.

I’m talking about Steve Kerr & Draymond Green.

Steve Kerr has one of the best winning percentages of anyone ever in the NBA, as
Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle so aptly puts it.

"“Kerr spent 23 previous seasons employed by an NBA team: 15 as a player, three as general manager and five as head coach. Twenty-three years, one losing record.”"

That’s right. 22 straight winning seasons. Kerr won three straight rings with Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls during the second three-peat, then won two more with the show-stopping San Antonio Spurs of the mid-2000s.

In retirement from playing, Kerr served as the General Manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns during the Steve Nash era. And of course, we know his role with the Warriors over the past few seasons.

Draymond Green is much younger but has taken a similar route to Kerr’s. San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau details Green’s historical success.

"“As Green led the Longstreet Cougars to a league title, he became obsessed with the feeling of victory — not just the result, but the behind-the-scenes work that preceded it. Not once has Green, now 29 years old with three NBA titles, three All-Star appearances, and a Defensive Player of the Year award, been on a losing team.”"

Just like Kerr, Green has been winning for so long, losing isn’t even in his vocabulary. How do you cope with losing all the time when all you used to do is win?

This could be potentially bad for both Green and Kerr. When you’re drunk off the riches of being the best, it may be hard to focus on all the little things you’ll need to accomplish to get back to where you’re used to being.

Thankfully for us — and more importantly them — it seems like they are taking it all in stride. Kerr had the following words to say about the Warriors’ frustrations this season.

"“With this group, it’s totally different — we’re trying to teach them how to run. So in some ways it’s extremely gratifying and in other ways it’s frustrating.”"

For Kerr and Green, it looks like focusing on developing the young talent they have is where they are shifting their focus for the time being. Guys like Eric Paschall, second-round rookie averaging 16.5 points and 5.4 rebounds is the biggest bright spot of the season.

Ky Bowman and Jordan Poole are showing flashes that they’re starting to figure things out as well. By pouring all their attention into these young guys and their future, they don’t have time to sulk in the sadness of being the worst team in the NBA.

Poole had the following to say about his relationship with Green.

"“I can go to him for anything. If I have any questions or we want to hang out, want to go get food. If I do something wrong, he’ll tell me. If I’m doing something good, he’ll encourage me. It’s just kind of like a big-brother, little-brother relationship.”"

For now, it looks like all that winning has provided Kerr and Green with a solid foundation that isn’t going to buckle under the pressure of a rocky start to the season. Instead of letting it get to them, they are literally preparing themselves for when the prime opportunity arises again.

With the returns of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the horizon, the possibility of a high draft pick, and a unique bond with the young players, an opportunity might be coming sooner rather than later.

Next. Warriors must find a way to keep Ky Bowman on the roster. dark

That’s more than you can say for a lot of teams in the NBA.