Warriors coach Steve Kerr says it’s important to have bench players who are popular with teammates
If you think back to some of the most famous championship teams in NBA history, nearly all of them had “glue” guys or bench players who played as big a role in providing moral support as they did in grabbing rebounds or knocking down shots.
The 1996-97 Bulls were coming off the best season in NBA history (at the time) and their fourth championship of the decade, but general manager Jerry Krause still added former Celtics legend Robert Parrish to provide experience and serve as a mentor for some of the other youngsters developing under Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan.
It would seem that being on those Bulls teams has had an effect on Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who spoke about the need for having likable bench players as teammates:
Steve Kerr on everyone liking Quinn Cook: “It’s important to have guys on your bench that are popular.” Is Kerr speaking from experience? Kerr modestly agrees
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) May 19, 2019
It should come as no surprise that Cook is well-liked in the Golden State locker room. As a senior at Duke, he helped guide a Blue Devils team led mostly by three super freshmen (including Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones) to a national title, and is still described by former teammates and coaches as one of the most impactful people in program history.
Kerr’s rhetoric also explains why the Warriors brought back former starting center Andrew Bogut, who has not seen many meaningful minutes during these playoffs but has added another veteran presence all the same.
Indeed, the contributions of the bench players sometimes gets lost in the wake of Golden State’s star power, but from Jonas Jerebko to Kevon Looney to Jordan Bell to Cook, the Warriors have guys making contributions both on and off of the floor.