Steve Kerr is taking some of the blame for the Golden State Warriors’ pitfalls last season.
“I feel like I failed last year in connecting the group,” he recently told The Mercury News’ Shayna Rubin. “I have taken a lot of time this summer to think about last year, things I could have and should have done differently.
“I really believe that sometimes losing sort of forces you to reassess and re-evaluate, and I’m excited about coming back next year with a renewed focus and energy and spirit from the entire group. And that starts with me, and I can’t wait.”
Kerr didn’t cite any specific errors, but conflicts within the roster began to develop well before the start of the campaign when forward Draymond Green punched then-teammate Jordan Poole during a team practice. Golden State fined Green but didn’t suspend him, which reportedly contributed to season-long tension between the veteran core and younger players.
During a recent appearance on “The Pat Bev Podcast with Rone,” Green said his frustration with Poole had built up following the guard’s previous comments. However, Green admitted he didn’t address the matter correctly.
After compiling a 44-38 regular-season record, the Warriors lost in six games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals, marking their shortest playoff run since 2014.
This offseason, Golden State traded Poole, who it had signed to a $140-million extension shortly after the incident with Green, to the Washington Wizards as part of a package for 12-time All-Star guard Chris Paul. The Warriors also re-signed Green on a four-year, $100-million contract.
Green acknowledged his past rifts with Paul, adding that the animosity between the two won’t dissipate just because they’re now teammates. However, he said he respects the tenacity Paul is expected to bring to Golden State.
“Me and Chris have had our differences over the course of my 11 years playing in this league, since Year 1,” Green said. “Chris is the way he is, I am the way I am. He’s not changing who he is at this point, I’m not changing who I am at this point.
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