Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr on Kevin Durant and predictions for the NBA finals x
REAL SPORTS SCENE - Anthony Suntay (The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2018 - 12:00am

Steve Kerr is one of the most accomplished individuals in the NBA, having won seven championships in all, five as a player (three with Chicago and two with San Antonio), and two as a coach with his present team, the Golden State Warriors.

His approach to the game has never wavered and it's his attention to detail and complete preparation leading to a match that have earned him the respect of his peers and his players.

When he says something, everyone listens and follows. Even when he dabbled as a sportscaster, he was excellent in the way he described and analyzed each play. So when given the chance to pick his brain, everyone leaps at the opportunity.

The STAR was fortunate to join an international call with the highly sought-after bench tactician.

PHILIPPINE STAR: As you look to another finals stint, the team is pretty banged-up at the moment.  What's been the biggest problem you've been facing just trying to win games and trying to be consistent?

STEVE KERR: Well, I think we've done a good job. We're winning games and dealing with the injuries, and that's what you have to do when you've been to the finals a few years in a row. It's just going to be more difficult. I felt that as a player in Chicago way back in the ’90s. Year three was much more difficult than year one, and that's what we're facing now, just the wear and tear of the journey.

As long as we can win games while guys are out, we're confident that they're going to actually be healthy and will be ready to go for the playoffs. This is all sort of expected in many ways, and we're dealing with it the best we can.

Can you predict which team you will face in the finals?

Well, in the East, obviously Boston and Cleveland are the teams that are getting the most recognition, but Toronto has very quietly had a great season, and I think they've gotten better. So those are the three favorites in the East. Obviously, Houston has had an amazing start in the West, and they've got a great team. San Antonio is always going to be there. So those are sort of the main teams that I think look like title contenders. But so much can happen over the course of a year with injuries and how things go, so we're not too worried about the finals or the playoffs even. We're just trying to be the best we can be right now and keep getting better.

How's your back?

Well, thank you for asking. I'm doing better and yes, I think any time you go through a major health crisis it gives you a different perspective. So really the only thing that matters is your health and waking up and feeling good, and that's the main focus.

I'm still dealing with pain but getting better. I love coaching, and coaching helps me to deal with everything. Thank you for the question. I appreciate it.

Jordan Bell has played very well so far; could he be the next Draymond Green?

Jordan is doing really well. He's coming along. He's learning a lot from Draymond. He's playing a similar style, guarding everybody on the floor. That's kind of how the NBA works these days. You have to be able to guard big guys and guards, and that kind of versatility is really key for us. I don't know if he can ever become Draymond Green, but he's definitely on his way to becoming a very good player.

Are you concerned about the ejections of Kevin Durant? He's already had three, that's the most in his entire career.

Yeah, but I'm not worried about it. I think Kevin went through a couple of weeks where he was pretty frustrated. Things weren't going that well for him, and he was getting angry. I had the same problem. I got a couple technicals during that time, and I was getting frustrated. I think since that time, we've done a much better job as a team of not complaining to the officials and just focusing on the game and playing and understanding that you're going to get some bad calls. That's just the way the game works. It's a very difficult game to officiate. So Kevin has done a better job of handling all of that, and I'm not worried about it at all.

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