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Steve Kerr has ‘some regrets’ about Mike D’Antoni, Suns

On Saturday night, the Golden State Warriors (37-9) will conclude their five-game road trip against the Houston Rockets in search of a franchise record 15th straight victory outside of the Oracle Arena confines. It will be a battle between two elite offenses and two head coaches who have a ton of respect for one another with the Warriors’ Steve Kerr and the Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni, as they both have ties to one another and used to work together in the Phoenix Suns organization.

According to an article published on Friday afternoon by Warriors beat writer Mark Medina of The Mercury News, Kerr said that he and D’Antoni still have a ton of respect for each other, but admits that he has some regrets during his time as the Suns general manager.

“I have some regrets,” Kerr said. “I think we had a few differences that I probably didn’t handle very well as a GM that I could’ve probably handled better, especially given that we really like each other and have a lot of similar viewpoints on the game.”

Kerr, who was a general manager for Phoenix, had D’Antoni as the team’s head coach for the 2007-08 season before he moved on to coach the New York Knicks. What really gave D’Antoni fits was the Suns’ inability to get over the hump in the playoffs against Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs and into the NBA Finals, as Phoenix was eliminated by San Antonio in 2005, 2006, and again in 2008 in Kerr’s first season with the Suns.

“I had some ideas on how we could get over the hump. Mike had some ideas,” Kerr said. “We were both frustrated we couldn’t beat the Spurs. I just think if I had more experience as a GM, I would’ve navigated that whole thing a little bit better.”

Kerr admits things should have gone differently and thus could’ve resulted in a long-term partnership between him and coach D’Antoni with the Suns.

“In a different setting, it could’ve been a really good long-term partnership,” Kerr said. “He’s a wonderful guy. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t have worked out better other than circumstances and my own inexperience. We have tremendous respect for each other. I wish him nothing but success. I’m happy that he’s having all of this success.”

Tomorrow night’s contest between Kerr’s Warriors and D’Antoni’s Rockets at Toyota Center will be broadcast live nationally on ABC and will tip off shortly after 5:30 p.m. PT.