Warriors coach Steve Kerr: ‘I lied’

11 Comments

After the Warriors’ Game 3 loss, Steve Kerr said he didn’t anticipate changing his starting lineup. Asked again yesterday morning, he said Andrew Bogut would start at center. Asked yet again yesterday pregame, Kerr said there would be no change to Golden State’s starting lineup.

Well, Andre Iguodala started for Bogut in Game 4.

Kerr:

We made the decision this morning. And so when I was asked today – I think Tim Kawakami asked me if Bogut was starting – I lied.

No, I did. I mean, I lied.

I figure I have two press conferences on the day of the game, so I’m asked a lot of strategic questions. So my options were tell the truth ‑ and I was asked both at shootaround and before the game. So, if I tell the truth, it’s the equivalent of me knocking on David Blatt’s door and saying, “Hey, this is what we’re going to do.” I could evade the question, which would start this Twitter phenomenon. Who is going to start for the Warriors? Or I could lie.

So, I lied. Sorry.

But I don’t think they hand you the trophy based on morality. They give it to you if you win. So, sorry about that.

Not every coach could get away with this without major backlash. Kerr will.

He has a great relationship with the media overall, and he put this in the most friendly tone possible. Everyone will laugh this off.

But this should be an important lesson to reporters and readers of those reporters.

I believe most professional coaches and athletes would prefer to be truthful publicly. But they have priorities that rank far above being truthful publicly.

So, many of them are willing to lie publicly if it helps achieve something they deem more important – like winning a championship or securing the best contract possible. That willingness only increases when they’re granted the cloak of anonymity. Then, they can lie with little to no repercussions.

If a reporter had granted Kerr anonymity to leak that Golden State wouldn’t change starters, not only would he have still thrown off the Cavaliers, Kerr wouldn’t have to answer for his lie. We’d never know he was the source.

Situations like that play out countless times. Sometimes, it’s possible to verify a claim given by someone granted anonymity. But sometimes, it’s not. If no assistant coaches or players were talking, nobody could have successfully checked whether the Warriors actually were keeping the same starting lineup. It would have been easy for Kerr to find a reporter willing to publish “Warriors won’t change starters in Game 4, according to a source.”

But Kerr attached his name to his lie, and that’s a big reason he should escape this without backlash.

Kerr isn’t competing to explain his game plan to the public. He’s competing to win a championship.

If you don’t understand that – and this extends especially to any reporter who would have allowed Kerr to anonymously leak that the starters would remain the same – that’s your fault.

Lonzo Ball finishes one-handed alley-oop on Willie Cauley-Stein (video)

6 Comments

So much attention is paid to Lonzo Ball‘s father, jumper and passes. Those are the major storylines for the Lakers rookie.

But he has such a diverse skill set, and this is absolutely part of it. Ball is a savvy off-ball cutter in the halfcourt with the athleticism to get above the rim and finish alley-oops.

But finish them over 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who was tracking the play (though slightly late)? That’s an eye-opener, even in the Kings’ 113-102 win.

Marc Gasol makes 3/4-court shot just after buzzer (video)

Leave a comment

When Marc Gasol‘s 3/4-court attempt went through the net, it seemed to barely matter the ball left his hands just after the first-quarter buzzer. After all, the Grizzlies led the Mavericks by 15, anyway.

Turns out, Memphis really needed that basket.

Watch Knicks string together 28-0 run against Raptors

8 Comments

Toronto has been the second best team in the East this young season. Not that anyone is really convinced they will be called that by the time we get to the playoffs (or even the All-Star break, or even Christmas), but for the first 16-18 games of the season their new move-the-ball offense had them at 11-5 and looking solid.

Wednesday night the Knicks dismantled the Raptors.

Especially in the third quarter when the Knicks went on a 28-0 run to blow the doors off the Raptors (video above). The Knicks dominated the third 41-10, when Toronto shot just 1-of-16 from the floor.

New York is gaining confidence with each win this season, they are a fun team to watch that is starting to find an identity (now that a certain three-sided shaped one is not being forced upon them). Kristaps Porzingis is a monster, and while the Knicks overpaid the market for Tim Hardaway Jr. he has lived up to his contract this season. With rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina showing some nice defense and playmaking skills as a rookie (although he is undoubtedly still a work in progress), you can see a path to a strong future unfolding. There are real reasons for hope in New York. Someone just keep James Dolan distracted and away from the basketball operations side of the building.

Devin Booker forces OT with deep turnaround buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but Bucks beat Suns (video)

1 Comment

I’m not sure who benefited from Devin Booker‘s buzzer-beating, overtime-forcing 3-pointer. The Suns still lost to the Bucks, 113-107. The extra five minutes featured more of the same relatively bad basketball we’d seen between Phoenix (bad) and Milwaukee (shorthanded) through 48 minutes.

But darn if this shot wasn’t really cool and clutch.