Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stirred the NBA pot last week when he allowed his players to handle the coaching duties for what turned out to be a lopsided 123-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 12.

During the game, Kerr randomly handed his marker board to players including All-Star forward Draymond Green or Andre Iguodala, allowing them to provide instruction to their fellow players and diagram plays during timeouts.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Some people—including a few Suns players—took offense to Kerr allowing his players to coach, accusing him of poor sportsmanship and showing up his opponent. Kerr denied such intent.

“It had everything to do with me trying to reach my team. I haven’t been able to reach them the last month,” Kerr told reporters after the game. “They are tired of my voice and I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years. I wasn’t reaching them and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”

What could be wrong with this approach, if it was a one-time deal? Who cares what the other team is doing on their sidelines? It’s your job to be better than them, regardless of who is coaching. If you’re offended, tough—be better!

Give Kerr some credit here. He has the utmost confidence in his players’ basketball IQ and coaching abilities. He knew they would run his system, just as he taught them to, and it kept them engaged through a boring blowout. There is a method in Kerr’s madness. I say, “let him cook.”

After winning two of the last three NBA championships and being the frontrunner for this year’s title, any logical NBA fan can understand why the Golden State Warriors might sometimes just go through the motions during the long 82-game season. The Warriors have already lost 14 games this season—one less than all of last season—and it’s not because the team is lacking in talent or playing a lesser caliber of basketball. Dudes are just tired and/or uninterested. These guys only care about one time of the year: June basketball. The NBA Finals are played every June, and after you’ve been to three straight Finals, it takes a different kind of motivation to get to a fourth. A coach might have to try something unique to keep his players focused on the goal.

Plus, wasn’t it nice to see some young Black men coaching an NBA game? You really don’t see that every day.

AFRO Sports Editor Perry Green contributed to this article.


Dion Johnson

Special to the AFRO