Even though a number of issues led to the Golden State Warriors’ failure to successfully defend their 2022 championship, head coach Steve Kerr is the one who must take responsibility.
Kerr talked on how he “failed” the 2022–23 Warriors in an interview with Shayna Rubin of The Mercury News, and how he plans to move forward this season.
I’ll admit that I didn’t feel like I connected the group last year, Kerr remarked. This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting about last year and what I could and should have done differently.
Although Kerr didn’t address it specifically, it’s safe to infer he was making a reference to the consequences of the historic training camp fight between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole, who is now a Washington Wizard. Green and Kerr acknowledged that the preseason incident had a negative effect on the team and reduced player trust following Golden State’s second-round loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Golden State’s performance was clearly hampered by Green’s punch, but other challenges the Warriors encountered led Kerr to say that the team from the previous season wasn’t “a championship team.”
Golden State had a dismal 11-30 road record last season, in addition to having a younger squad than in previous seasons. Stephen Curry, a nine-time All-Star, missed 26 games during the Warriors’ 14-12 season due to injury. Additionally, forward Andrew Wiggins missed 45 games due to a number of illnesses and took a lengthy leave of absence to take care of his ailing father.
But now that Golden State has overcome those challenges, Kerr is focusing on what the team learned from the experience.
“I really believe that sometimes losing sort of forces you to reassess and reevaluate, and I’m excited about coming back next year with a renewed focus, energy, and spirit from the entire group,” Kerr said. “And that starts with me, and I can’t wait.”
In a notable trade this offseason, the Warriors acquired Chris Paul in exchange for Poole, a longtime foe and another player with a contentious history with Green. Kerr is confident the addition will improve the squad despite any potential detrimental effects their history may have on the court.
Additionally, according to Kerr, the additions of Dario ‘ari’ and Cory Joseph might have effects akin to what Otto Porter Jr. and David West experienced during different championship campaigns.
I have a lot of faith that it will succeed, added Kerr. “We have fantastic competitors, champions, and great guys. Next year, winning at the top level is the only objective. The rest will develop as the season does.
For the aging Warriors, who, aside from Curry, must demonstrate they still have a championship-caliber squad, the 2023–24 season will be a crucial one.