OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Steve Kerr acknowledged using an expletive to air his frustrations with Draymond Green when speaking to assistant coach Mike Brown during Sunday’s 115-111 loss to the lowly Suns. The moment was caught on video and, while it wasn’t audible, viewers could read Kerr’s lips.
Kerr wouldn’t go into details regarding any discussion he had with Green on Monday, saying “That’s private.”
The two-time defending champions didn’t hold a formal practice and Kevin Durant was listed as day-to-day with a bruised right ankle he injured midway through the fourth quarter of the embarrassing defeat, which snapped an 18-game winning streak against Phoenix — longest in the NBA against a single opponent. The Warriors play again Wednesday at Houston to begin a tough four-game road trip.
“I’m so ... tired of Draymond!” Kerr said in the video.
Kerr joked that he didn’t say what he appeared to say.
“No, the lip-readers were wrong,” he said. “What I said was, ‘I beg to differ with Draymond’s approach tonight.’ Those were my exact words. I don’t know how somebody misconstrued that.”
Kerr has regularly praised Green’s production on both ends of the court this season, though Golden State as a whole has struggled to play the kind of smothering defense that defined its run to a repeat title last season. However, the Warriors were not playing well on that end of the floor late in the 2018 regular season before taking it to another level defensively come playoff time.
“If you look historically at any team trying to win multiple titles in a row, get to the finals year after year, there’s a different vibe,” Kerr said. “As you go, the journey gets harder and there’s more adversity. We saw it at the end of last year quite a bit. We were able to pull things together and win the title. We’re seeing plenty of adversity this year.
"I tell the players every year, there’s a reason you pour champagne on each other when it’s all said and done, because it is hard. It is a difficult thing that we’re trying to accomplish and it gets more difficult as you go just based on circumstances. We’ve got our work cut out for us but we’re still confident because of our track record, because of the banners that we’ve hung, we’re very confident that we can do this again. But it’s not easy.”
When asked whether Green was fine after they spoke, Kerr said, “again, that’s private.” Green wasn’t available Monday since the team didn’t watch film or practice.
Kerr noted such moments are far more public and glaring in this era of social media and smartphones.
“Everything’s recorded, everything is filmed,” he said. “I decided I’m now going to get a giant laminated board with all of my play calls and I’m going to turn into an NFL coach from here on out. It’s a different world. You’ve got to figure out how to survive and thrive in the modern way of life. One way of doing it is not really concerning yourself with stuff that doesn’t matter.”
One thing that does matter to him: his players not arguing with the officials so much.
“I think we need to stop looking at the officials,” Kerr said. “We’re complaining too much to the referees and we’re spending too much energy arguing with the refs instead of just playing. I don’t think that helped last night.”
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