How Steve Kerr led the Warriors from a tough performance to the sweetest final of the NBA Finals

How Kerr led the Dubs from tough performance to the sweetest finish of the finals first appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – Shortly after 11pm on the night of January 20, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob left the Chase Center wearing a grim expression, with good reason. His team had lost, at home, to an opponent who missed the top four.

This was not an acceptable result for the most expensive roster in the league. Shake players, coaches and fans. Shocked Lacob’s system.

I approached him with a harmless comment, indicating that the game had to be difficult to watch.

“Don’t talk to me now,” Lacombe said. “Do not talk to me. I will go and sit in my car and grumble “.

There was no sharp anger. Rather, it seemed that his dissatisfaction clashed with confusion, resulting in exaggeration with a watering of humor.

Lacob did not get his money’s worth and was burned. The Warriors entered this game having lost six of their previous nine games. Injuring the Pacers was a ploy. This was, in the NBA language, a planned defeat for Indiana.

The Warriors could not take advantage.

And yet, five months after that 121-117 defeat in overtime by a makeshift version of the Pacers, they were celebrating a championship with a parade on Market Street in San Francisco.

How does this happen? How dare the Warriors, with a paycheck approaching $ 350 million, lose to a group of reserves? And then reach the top of the mountain?

The Warriors defeated themselves after that defeat and won their next nine games, including wins in four possible playoff teams – Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets – in the same week.

Although Golden State were 12-14 in the last two months of regular season, the players remained loyal and Kerr remained committed that when the roster became healthy, the team would improve and find its way.

Kerr on Jan. 13, in the grip of losing four of five after a 118-99 loss to Milwaukee: “I’m not so worried. I know our buttocks were kicking us. “We are just in a difficult position in our season.”

Curry on March 5, after a 124-116 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles, represented eight defeats in 10 games:[We’re] giving in to a lost mentality. We are not this team. I will not let us become this team. We know – we have shown – who we are in terms of how we started the season. “I feel like we can obviously get back to that.”

Kerr on March 30, after a 107-103 defeat by the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center: “It was a great performance in terms of our defense and our energy and our fight from start to finish. We could not close the game, but the main thing is that we can get out of this game by recognizing our team. This is our team. That’s a great sign. “

The Warriors went 21-6 after that game, 5-0 to close the regular season and 16-6 to prevail in the postseason.

With key assistant Mike Brown orchestrating the defense and No. 2 assistant Kenny Atkinson as his right hand in attack, Kerr did his best purely coaching job. The Warriors defeated every opponent in the playoffs and then pushed each in the summer.

“He’s a guy who knows what he doesn’t know,” said Draymond Green after the exciting game 6 in Boston. “This is one of the best qualities you can have in this world, it is to be smart enough to know what you do not know. And Steve is absolutely incredible at it. He is leaning [his assistants] for their strengths. This is huge. And his confidence in knowing that we will figure it out and make some adjustments and put you in the best position we can to be successful, and just never scare you. “

Every player, coach and front office official could breathe freely. Lacob is not very good at sinking his emotions and generally does not try. His appetite for triumph is greedy. The players know it.

General Manager Bob Myers knows this. The NBA is a death row game for head coaches, no one feels it as much as Kerr.

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However, Kerr never gave in to the stress of coaching a team whose boss is willing to inflate payroll in pursuit of success. This high payroll, a few nickels of less than $ 350 million, including luxury taxes, hovered over the Warriors all season, a symbol of what to expect.

Lacob shoots across the moon and is clearly willing to pay the bill for the ride. He did not always get the value for his money, and it was a lot of money.

In the end, Lacob got what he paid for: The opportunity to join the Warriors contingent enjoying a glittering victory in the early hours of last Friday at TD Garden in Boston, sour moments of the past that were cleared of the sweetest possible finish .

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