On the surface, the Golden State Warriors blowing out the Phoenix Suns, 129-83, appears to be your expected result of the two teams that are headed in drastically different directions. But it became a story because head coach Steve Kerr handed over the clipboard to Warriors players.
In allowing them to coach themselves, Kerr was merely trying to shake things up and get his players to pay attention. He explained to the media after the game how he felt the team had stopped listening to his criticism and he believed maybe they’d listen to their fellow teammates instead.
Since then, Kerr has received a lot of back lash over the incident. Many critics and players have criticized him for allowing players to run the huddles, claiming the act showed a sincere lack of respect for their opponent.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jalen Rose, Kobe Bryant, ever the competitor, explained why he believed the bigger issue was the loss:
“What the hell do I care? Why should anybody care? I mean, everybody is entitled to an opinion. [But] at the end of the day, guys got to play and compete. I think it’s more disrespectful that they beat ‘em like a drum, personally. [Suns] shouldn’t be worried about that sort of stuff, but if you do feel disrespected, that’s cool. You’re right do that. Use it as motivation, come back and beat them the next time.”
Considering his reputation and that Kerr didn’t leave the floor, instead using timeouts to let players coach, it can be reasoned he never had a thought of being disrespectful towards the Suns.
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton even agreed the tactic made a lot of sense in getting the players to listen and understand, particularly for such a veteran roster.
But the point Kobe makes is well put. This shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of the season. Take it as motivation to be better and come back fighting in the next matchup. That’s all you can do as players, is be your best.
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