There are many reasons why Steve Kerr thinks his team wasn’t a championship contender this season but the main reason was a lack of trust.
“Anytime some trust is lost, then it makes the process much more difficult, and there was some trust lost,” Kerr said at his exit interview on Tuesday. “That’s as blunt as I can be. We have to get back to what has made us really successful, which is a really trusting environment and a group that relies on one another and makes each other better.”
There is one very obvious incident which started the Warriors on a different track.
That was at training camp in early October, when Draymond Green punched Jordan Poole in the face.
Golden State were adamant that there was mediation following the incident, forgiveness was imminent and that it was all behind them but things were never the same.
Kerr explained that when Green comes back next year, he will need to make an effort to rebuild the trust with the team that he broke.
“There’s no hiding from it — the incident with Draymond and Jordan at the beginning of the year played a role in that,” Kerr said. “It’s hard for that not to impact a team.
“[Green] knows that he had a great season this year from a basketball perspective, but he knows that he also compromised things by what happened back in October. 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 period of time. One thing I love about Draymond is he’s always brutally honest, and he can take that sort of critique because he knows it’s the truth.”
As frank as Kerr was about Green, he was equally as forthcoming about how important Green is to the Warriors’ championships aspirations in the near future.
“If Draymond’s not back, we’re not a championship contender. We know that. He’s that important to winning and to who we are. So I absolutely want him back,” Kerr said. “He’s a competitor, he’s an incredible defensive player, we can check all those boxes. And he and I have built a really special relationship that has run the gamut over the years. We’ve had our share of run-ins, but we’ve been through so much, we really care about each other and work together well.”