HoopsHype Steve Kerr rumors

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February 25, 2015 Updates

Kerr always planned on coaching, but it wasn’t until two years ago, while working as a broadcaster for TNT, that he says he began preparing in earnest. That summer he attended a sports leadership conference at the Aspen Institute in Colorado and ran into Jeff Van Gundy, whose work Kerr admired. Van Gundy told Kerr what he tells all aspiring coaches: Write down everything. Everything you’ve learned, everything you want to do. Everything you’d change. It’ll organize your thoughts. Develop your philosophy. Sports Illustrated

So Kerr created a Word file on his laptop. Some days he added a few notes; other days he filled pages. During four years of college and 15 seasons in the NBA, Kerr played for Lute Olson, Lenny Wilkens, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich. His teammates included Mark Price, Tim Duncan, Scottie Pippen and Jordan. There was a lot to write, and no detail was too small. He jotted down offensive sets and defensive philosophies, but also included the little stuff - everything from a policy for families traveling on the road to whether players are required to do 20 minutes of cardio after a game if they don't play a certain number of minutes. Sports Illustrated

Iguodala was skeptical at first. “But it’s important not to dismiss things immediately so I thought on it,” he says. Kerr had made some good points. The second unit, so ineffective the previous season, needed Igoudala’s leadership and playmaking. And Iguodala appreciated Kerr’s directness. “I agreed with his larger vision,” he says. Plus, he adds, “I’ve been in this league 11 years and I want my professionalism to be something that stands out.” In the end, he accepted the demotion gracefully. “Who else is going to complain now?” says Kerr. Sports Illustrated

Other times, Kerr’s moves are diplomatic. From day one, he has made a point of consistently praising Mark Jackson, which built good will with his players. Similarly, he downplays his impact on the team at every turn. “In the end both Pop and Phil taught me the players are the ones that do all the work,” says Kerr. “You just want to guide the team in the right direction to play the way that they're best going to utilize their talent and skills.” In pro sports, this mindset is unusual. “Usually winning breeds arrogance but he’s a rare guy,” says Van Gundy, who makes a point to also praise Mark Jackson’s work as Warriors coach. “I think Kerr’s fully aware that he’s done an outstanding job. You don’t play as long as he did without great pride and ego. But the way that Steve has handled himself, forget the coaching. What I have such great respect for is his humility with this success. Very, very few people I’ve known in coaching would have this humility with this success.” Sports Illustrated

February 23, 2015 Updates

Lacob describes Kerr as, “exactly who he sold himself as,” which, says Fraser, is one of Kerr’s best attributes. “There’s no bulls--tting about him,’ says Fraser. “He may be a bit nerdy, but you can’t say he’s not an honest, real guy. He does a good job of explaining and talking, not just commanding.” As for Curry, he says he likes that Kerr didn’t, “try to come in and be the hero and reinvent the wheel when it came to what we were good at.” “He’s very mature for a first time head coach,” says Curry. “To be able to have an awareness of the bigger goals, not just having the best record right now.” Green agrees: “He don’t let us settle for mediocrity in anything.” Sports Illustrated

Watch Warriors games and you’ll see the high-post action of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, the drag screens and sideline tilts favored by Mike D’Antoni’s Suns (where Kerr served as GM from 2007-08 to '09-10), the low post splits from the old Jerry Sloan Utah handbook, and, most prominently, the motion offense and loop series of Popovich’s late-generation Spurs. The result is a system in which the only sin is standing still. “Ball movement and people movement,” is how Gentry describes it. The bigs use dribble hand-offs, the shooters curve and cut in a continual churn and everyone, eventually, gets to touch the ball. To Kerr, who had the advantage of watching the Warriors up close as a broadcaster, this was the best way to utilize a roster stocked with bigs who are better-suited to passing than diving to the rim (in particular, Kerr calls Bogut “a witch with the ball.”) Sports Illustrated

Kerr is also a believer in process and preparation. He asks the video staff to load the previous five games of an upcoming opponent on his laptop leading up to a game. Last July he visited Pete Carroll and was impressed with how Carroll used music to energize the Seahawks in practice. Now the Warriors do the same thing. Following an example set by both Carroll and Bill Belichick, Kerr hired as his personal assistant Nick U’Ren, a 28-year-old who’d spent the previous five years as an assistant video coordinator with the Suns. Explains U’Ren: “The idea is that rather than have a 45-year-old woman behind a desk answering mail as your assistant, why not instead use that spot to add another young basketball mind to the staff.” So now U’Ren does both; on any given day he might book Kerr’s travel, splice video footage and spend 20 minutes breaking down game strategy with his boss. As far as he knows, he’s the only person in the NBA with his job. Sports Illustrated

There were other, cultural concerns. Jackson often emphasized his faith with the players. “It’s fine to be religious,” says one Warriors insider, “but it’s a different thing to bring it to your work.” When Jason Collins publicly announced his homosexuality in April 2013, Jackson told reporters, “I know Jason Collins; I know his family and am certainly praying for them.” This seemed particularly tone-deaf considering that Golden State COO Rick Welts, the first high-ranking sports executive to come out, worked in the same building. Welts says he approached Jackson and had “a nice conversation, like grown‑ups,” adding, “He knew how I felt, I knew how he felt. I’m sure he thought it was an opportunity to educate me, and I thought it was an opportunity to educate him.” Sports Illustrated

February 22, 2015 Updates
February 20, 2015 Updates
February 19, 2015 Updates

"I didn't expect us to do anything, and I'm glad we didn't," Kerr said. "I'm thrilled that we stood pat. We've got a team that we like. We have the best record in the league. We have great chemistry, and there's no reason to disrupt that." Contra Costa Times

February 18, 2015 Updates

NBA.com: What numbers do you care about? Kerr: I care about passes, how well we're moving the ball, any numbers that can show us passes per possession, how often turnovers happen within a certain number of passes, that sort of thing. NBA.com: What have you learned about your team from the numbers? Kerr: I've found that most of our turnovers happen in the first few passes, in possessions of two or fewer passes. People might think that if you move the ball a lot, you're more likely to turn it over. I don't look at it that way. NBA.com

Kerr: One of the keys to our defense is our ability to switch on the perimeter. We have a lot of like-sized guys. And Draymond [Green], to me, is the key to our defense. He's the key figure, because as the power forward, he's frequently involved in screen-and-rolls. And because he's quick enough and active enough to switch out onto a point guard, we're able to stifle a lot of the first options out of the opponent's attacks. And when that happens and the shot clock starts to wind down, we're able to stay in front of people and force a tough shot. NBA.com

NBA.com: But are you conscious of what teams you match up best with? Kerr: Yeah, we have a sense for certain teams that would maybe bother us more than others. But once you think about that, then it's like, "All right, so then what?". You can't avoid them and you can't manipulate matchups. You can't say, "All right, we're either going to win a few more or lose a few more." It's just going to be whatever it is. And there's going to be four great teams in the West that are out in the first round. That's just the way it is. NBA.com

February 16, 2015 Updates

"LeBron is in the MJ mode right now," said Curry's coach, former Cavalier and Michael Jordan's ex-teammate Steve Kerr, who will coach the West tonight. "Steph is so relatable to the fans. The kids can look at him and say, well, I'm his size, practically. "I think it would be easier to relate to Steph than it is to relate to LeBron or Michael or these super-human guys. So from that standpoint, it's sort of different, a different place in the league, a different status or stature. No question with his popularity he is becoming one of the stars." Cleveland Plain Dealer

February 15, 2015 Updates

Warriors coach Steve Kerr heard boos when introduced during the Western Conference All-Star team’s practice at the Garden. Kerr backed out of a verbal agreement with the Knicks last May to join the Warriors, who have the NBA’s best record at 42-9, while Derek Fisher’s club has the worst mark in the league. Kerr, a former TNT broadcaster, claimed not to hear his greeting. “Was it good or bad?’’ Kerr asked. “Not so good? That’s too bad. I’m devastated.’’ New York Post

February 13, 2015 Updates
February 12, 2015 Updates

Marc Stein: Steve Kerr tells @NBAonESPNRadio he's still deciding between Kevin Durant or LaMarcus Aldridge to start for injured Anthony Davis. But Kerr says coaching ex-teammate Tim Duncan is what he most looks forward to at ASW and does like idea of making Duncan chase around Melo. Kerr was laughing as he said it but admits messing with Duncan is one of his ASW priorities. As you'll hear in his full @NBAonESPNRadio chat Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

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