The Golden State Warriors featured nearly the same team that won the NBA championship the previous season, but this time something was different.
Steve Kerr, head coach of Golden State, identified a change in the locker room chemistry as the primary reason why his team was unable to repeat as champions despite everyone being a year older, each player’s performance arc having shifted, and the team experiencing injuries differently than in 2021–22. In particular, Kerr referred to a decline in teamwork following the preseason incident in which veteran Draymond Green hit guard Jordan Poole in the face.
“[Green] understands that despite having a fantastic season from a basketball standpoint this year, what occurred back in October also put him at risk. According to a Twitter video from Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Kerr stated at a press conference on Tuesday, May 16, “So part of him coming back next year has to be about rebuilding some of that trust and respect that he’s earned here for a long time.” Draymond is always brutally honest, and he can take that kind of criticism because he knows it’s the truth, which is something I admire about him.
Journalists probed Kerr for further information on Green’s betrayal and how it altered the interpersonal dynamics on the Warriors’ squad.
“[Trust] was definitely eroded this year. There is nowhere to run from it. The early-year event involving Draymond and Jordan had an impact on that. It’s difficult for something to have no effect on a team, Kerr remarked. “We believe we have a great group of players, coaches, and front office staff members. We take great pride in the way we conduct ourselves. But this year, those things were unquestionably difficult. When trust is broken, the process becomes far more challenging. And some trust was broken, to be as direct as I can.