PALO ALTO – The Warriors are not just bound together with NBA championships, star players and a collaborative culture. They also enjoy teasing each other.
So with USA Basketball naming Warriors coach Steve Kerr an assistant for coach Gregg Popovich for the 2019 FIBA World Cup and the 2020 Olympic games in Japan, Kerr playfully dismissed whether that means his All-Star players will join him.
“We don’t know what the team is going to look like exactly,” Kerr said following practice on Thursday at Stanford University. “I’m hoping that happens. I’m a tough critic. We’ll see if they make the team or not.”
Well, maybe those players do not want to make the team.
“That decision really ruined my chances of playing,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry joked. “I don’t want to see Coach more than I have to. Coach Popovich should have known that before he hired Steve. No one wants to play for Steve. It’s an unfortunate situation.”
All jokes aside, the Warriors have no idea how many of their All-Stars will play for USA Basketball. After all, they do not even know if pending free agents Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins will be on the Warriors following the 2018-219 season.
They offered some signals, though.
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Curry expressed his plans to play in the 2020 Games. Warriors guard Klay Thompson told Bay Area News Group he would like to play, but did not presume he would make the roster. Durant told Bay Area News Group he’s “planning on playing in 2020” barring any unforeseen injury or fatigue. Warriors forward Draymond Green, who plans to play in Friday’s preseason finale against the Los Angeles Lakers after missing the past three exhibitions with a sore left knee, did not speak to reporters on Thursday. Cousins has continued to rehab from an injured left Achilles tendon since January.
“Steve wasn’t selected with the hope or anticipation that would have on them,” Colangelo said about the Warriors’ All-Stars in a conference call. “It may or it may not. But that’s not why he was selected. Steve Kerr was selected for no other than reason he’s a terrific coach. His personality is going to blend in extremely well. There’s a relationship with Pop.”
Kerr does have a strong relationship with his players, though.
“It’s his patience and collaborative spirit where he doesn’t mind letting somebody take over a segment in practice,” Durant said of Kerr. “He’s really secure with who he is as a coach. I think it allows him to be an assistant coach, head coach and be a GM. He has that personality. It allows him to put on so many different hats.”
Therefore, Kerr feigned apathy on what role he would have on Popovich’s coaching staff, which also includes Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan and Villanova coach Jay Wright. Instead, Kerr wondered jokingly how their involvement with the 2020 Olympics will affect the “Kerr-Popovich 2020” presidential ticket against President Donald Trump.
“Pop’s going to have to …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports