After the Warriors moved on from Mark Jackson as head coach in 2014, the search narrowed on two final candidates: former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and then-TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr. Former Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk was part of the team that interviewed both contenders and says the front office at one point wasn’t sure they’d even get a chance to sit down with Kerr during the process.
“Steve was being courted very hard by Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks,” Schlenk said on 95.7 The Game last week. “And at one point during the process, it felt like that’s where he was going to go. And so we didn’t think that we were going to even have an opportunity to really sit down and talk with Steve. And I believe it was while we were meeting with Stan down in Orlando, that Steve called Bob and said he kinda had a change of heart and he wanted to meet with us.”
In his “All the Smoke” podcast last week, Barnes revealed (around the 1:09:00 mark) the ring is still sitting in the office of Golden State vice president of communications Raymond Ridder. “I came in when (Kevin Durant) went down, playing a consistent 20-25 minutes. The game KD comes back, I get hurt maybe a week before the playoffs and I’m out of it,” Barnes said. “I got a free ride, I got a free ring.”
Barnes averaged 5.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 20.5 minutes per game in the 20 regular-season games he played with the Warriors that year. But it was a different story in the playoffs. “I didn’t sweat … I didn’t get to guard LeBron (James),” he said. With Durant fully recovered, Barnes played just 61 minutes in 12 playoff games. And for that reason, he concluded: “I don’t count that as a championship.”
After eliminating the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA playoffs, the “We Believe” Warriors etched their names into Golden State lore. The underdog band of Warriors could be getting treatment similar to The Last Dance. Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes recently joined The Bill Simmons Podcast to talk about the 2006-07 Warriors. While the rest of the details are still unclear, Barnes mentioned a documentary about the We Believe group could be on the way.