Warriors coach Steve Kerr notes he was wrong for getting tossed, but wanted to stand up for his players
Steve Kerr’s coaching game was in midseason form on Monday night after getting ejected nine seconds into the third quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ preseason game against the Phoenix Suns. Kerr had enough of some calls going against his team and lashed out at referee Ben Taylor, waving goodbye as the official quickly ejected him from the game, leaving assistant Mike Brown in charge.
Following the end of the game, Kerr owned to being wrong by prompting his own ejection, admitting he walked up in Taylor’s direction hoping to send a message.
“I was in the wrong, obviously.” Kerr said, according to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I got what I deserved.”
Kerr’s walk was demonstrative and full of purpose, as he sprang from his seat on the bench and walked directly at Taylor, loudly stating his discontent before Brown could give chase to contain him. Kerr knew he would get ejected, but did so anyway — admitting it to the press after a 117-109 loss to the Suns.
“Yes,” said Kerr. “I was trying to make a point and I was trying to back up my guys. We had all these offensive fouls, one after another. And I finally had enough.”
This is hardly the first time the often zen-like Kerr has gotten riled up and tossed for the sake of fighting for his players. Being willing to risk hefty fines and postgame criticism is maybe one of the single most important reasons why he’s so beloved by his players.
“I love it,” said Stephen Curry, whose technical foul incited Kerr’s blatant approach. “Love it. We got a good vibe going about what we’re doing. It’s never too early to get that fire going, so we’ll see how we sustain that throughout the year. But when obviously a blatant call, we think, should go one way goes the other, he’s going to have a reaction to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s preseason, regular season or playoffs. It’s nice for him to have that fire for sure.”
Kevin Durant had gotten called for a technical foul in the first half, and then Curry was also T’d up for disagreeing with a call — following the same trend that got Shaun Livingston his first ejection ever last season after making head-to-head contact with referee Courtney Kirkland.
The Warriors have not have the smoothest of relationships with the officials, and this could easily be a trend that loops from last season right into the start of 2018-19, as the telltale signs are already there.