Steve Kerr throws it back to the 2019 NBA finals vs Toronto Raptors, admitting that Golden State Warriors’ winning cycle had come to an end
Steve Kerr has to be one of the most interesting guys to interview in the NBA. He’s played with arguably the greatest player of all time in Michael Jordan and coached arguably the greatest NBA team of all-time in the 2014-2019 Golden State Warriors.
He’s coached brilliant players as well and admits to the same. In an interview with The Athletic, he said, “I count my blessing that I’ve been able to coach the players that I’ve coached and be in an organization that I’m in because I know how lucky I am.”
In the same interview, Kerr had a lot more to say about his players and how the personnel – as good as it was – did not matter an awful lot in the 2018/19 season.
Steve Kerr says that the fifth year is always tricky, and Golden State Warriors were victims of the same
The eight-time NBA champ was asked whether, during the tail end of Kevin Durant’s time with the Warriors, the team felt lost? He mentioned how the fifth year is the end of a cycle for most teams.
“I think the fifth year was so difficult — physically, spiritually, emotionally — but mainly because it’s just hard. And you can ask anybody from the Lakers and the Celtics in the 80s. You know, (ask) Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich. When you do something year after year after year, it just gets to be (hard). And there’s a different sense of energy from, say, the first year to the fifth that was going to be there regardless of our personnel.”
The Golden State Warriors were four games away from a three-peat in the NBA. And there’s a chance they would have achieved it had it not been for awful luck. Both Klay Thompson and Durant picked up serious injuries, leaving Steph Curry largely alone. Kerr acknowledged the same, continuing his answer.
“I think the players were exhausted. We lost two guys to devastating injuries in the (2019) Finals (Thompson and Durant). You almost can’t write a script like that, you know? And it was so brutal.”
But he didn’t let sour grapes get in the way of his initial thought process. Before moving to the next question, Kerr reiterated his theory about the end of the Warriors’ winning cycle.
“But like I said, when you do something for that long, such a competitive emotional level — five years, and teams trying to knock you off and building their team to beat you, it’s exhausting. And I think we were all just exhausted.”
Two years since that final vs Toronto Raptors, Golden State seem to be back at their best. They sit second in the Western Conference with the joint-best record of 18-3 in the league. Is a ninth ring in sight for Steve Kerr?