In Monday’s press conference, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr took exception to a Twitter post from NBC Sports Bay Area writer Drew Shiller. In fact, Kerr said he was “angry” at what Shiller posted. Shiller tweeted that in a podcast interview with Logan Murdock, Kerr revealed that he enjoyed the 2019-20 season where the Warriors went 15-50 more than their 2018-19 season where they lost to the Raptors in the NBA Finals.
That wasn’t Kerr’s issue, his issue was that Shiller prefaced that 2019-20 season by saying it was “Kevin Durant’s final season with the Warriors,” insinuating that Kerr preferred a COVID-interrupted 15-50 season over a season where they went to the NBA Finals simply due to Durant’s presence.
Kerr took great issue with that connotation and took it upon himself to set the record straight.
Steve Kerr, unprompted, brings up a podcast comment of his that went viral today involving KD's final season compared to last season. Said he is "angry" about the way it was contextualized.
Part 2 pic.twitter.com/GjECpdORg6
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 23, 2021
Kerr pointed out from the start that it was more enjoyable “from a coaching standpoint” and to hear him explain, he enjoyed it more because he was coaching a younger team. That makes sense for a coach, coaching a younger team that might need more hands-on coaching and is eager to learn. While they were losing a bunch of games, it was probably more enriching for Kerr than when he was, as he said, dealing with the stress of a five-year run where the Warriors made the Finals each year.
In addition to being angry about the whole thing, Kerr called Shiller’s post “irresponsible and damaging.” Kerr didn’t mention Durant on the Real Ones podcast but the way Shiller made it sound, he did.
At the end of his article on NBC Sports Bay Area, Shiller revealed, “Also, I want to make it clear that Kerr didn’t specifically mention Durant during his comments. He simply referred to ‘that last year/season.'” This after he rehashed the issues of that 2018-19 season between Durant and Kerr. After having Durant’s initials in the headline. And after having Durant’s name in the tweet that linked to the article.
This isn’t a situation where someone is struggling to convey the proper context within 280 characters, this was a bad attempt at clickbait by Shiller to connect the drama of Durant’s departure from Golden State to Kerr saying he enjoyed a 15-50 season more because Durant was so horrible to coach. Yeah, it’s true that it was Durant’s final season. And maybe it’s true the two of them didn’t get along. What Shiller wrote about Durant in Golden State may have been accurate but that wasn’t the place to shoehorn that into a rather innocuous conversation that had nothing to do with Durant.
Kerr was right, it was “irresponsible and damaging” and it was important for him to get that out to the public so the sports talk radio and debate shows can talk about Kerr’s response to Shiller’s post instead of what Shiller posted and things really spiral out of control.
FWIW, Durant responded to Shiller’s tweet with “This is hilarious.”
This is hilarious
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 22, 2021