Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr says his team faces way more attention in a media-centric era as the two-time defending champions attempt to three-peat.
“The bar’s been set high,” Kerr told reporters on Wednesday, per ESPN. “So, everything takes on a little greater sense of urgency in terms of what happens around the team. We’re maybe the most scrutinized team in the history of the league. We’re right there with the (Chicago) Bulls teams that I played on. I felt the same, but even more so now because of the number of media outlets and the immediacy of the judgment and criticism.
“Our guys have learned how to deal with all of that over the past few years. It doesn’t matter. What matters is how you respond to a bad loss, to a bad stretch, to injuries. As long as you keep responding, keep showing up to work, keep sticking together, keep working, good things are going to happen. That’s what I believe with this group.”
The Warriors (23-12), coming off a setback loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day, drew major headlines earlier in the season when forward Draymond Green was suspended following an altercation with two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant. They’ve also dealt with an injury bug, including a stretch when two-time MVP Stephen Curry was out.
“It’s a more arduous one this year than it’s been in the past just because of the circumstances,” Kerr said of his team’s title pursuit in the ’18-19 campaign.
Golden State’s greatness has also been a hot topic of discussion. Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal told USA TODAY Sports that his 2001 Lakers team would’ve “easily” beaten the Warriors if both teams played in their prime. To that suggestion, Curry clapped back in disagreement.