Golden State Warriors: Steve Kerr deserves plenty of credit for success

The Golden State Warriors — up until very recently — considered a dynasty by some fans and analysts. Many felt there was too much talent on one team, and the league wouldn’t be on an even playing field. The management and coaching staff have one job in this business: win games.

Head coach Steve Kerr knows this better than most, as he has spent over half of his life in the professional basketball industry. Kerr has filled the roles of player, television analyst, president, general manager, and head coach in his storied NBA career.

But many people question whether or not Kerr is a great coach. Perhaps he’s not and the Warriors are just unbeatable. Obviously, the Warriors aren’t unbeatable, but undeniably, Steve Kerr is a record-breaking coach, and he brought a new style to the organization.

The biggest changes Kerr instilled in the team continues to be strength in numbers.  These three words became the team’s mantra, and with Kerr, the team learned to execute wins with strength in numbers. One of the first changes Kerr implemented was reduced playing time for the team’s starters and key players. Not only did this change offer a greater rotation, going deep into the bench, but it also reduced player fatigue and injury.

Even with the recent loss of several key players, Kerr said during an interview that Steph Curry and Draymond Green would not play 40 minutes; that’s not going to be one of the changes the team makes. Curry played an average of 33.8 minutes per game, and Draymond Green an average of 31.3.  Another change Kerr initiated was not only allowing but actually encouraging his players to take shots at the basket. Kerr was quoted saying, “The only regret you should have is if you don’t shoot a shot.” This philosophy not only came to him as a coach but was first applied when he made a winning shot as a player for the Chicago Bulls.

Steve Kerr’s inexperience as a coach was a legitimate concern in the beginning of his tenure, but his statistics, accomplishments, and accolades speak for his value and viability now. In regular season play, Kerr has coached 410 games with 322 wins and 88 losses. His playoff coaching is equally impressive with a winning percentage of 73.3 with 77 wins and 28 losses. (Luke Walton’s time as interim head coach from 2015-2016 when he went 39-4 was counted towards Kerr’s career statistics.)

Kerr also broke several records while building a championship-caliber team year after year. In 2015, Kerr set the new record for most wins as a rookie head coach and was the first rookie head coach since 1982 to win a championship. Kerr was also only the fourth coach in the NBA to win two championships in his first three years of coaching. In addition to these records, Kerr holds the honor of reaching 300 wins faster than any other coach in any other sport. Kerr reached this goal in 377 games, and prior to Kerr breaking this record, it was 416 games. He also owns the record for regular-season wins as head coach from that time when the Warriors went crazy in the 2015-2016 season, the same year Kerr received the Coach of the Year award.

Guided by the leadership of legendary coaches, Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich, Kerr developed the core values of the team; joy, mindfulness, competition, and compassion. Kerr brought these values to his new team and together, the players and coach brought them to fruition. Strength in Numbers was born, and in the meantime, the Golden State Warriors have been and will continue to be a team to be reckoned with.


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