Speaking to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on his podcast earlier this week, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr noted that Golden State is in a unique position as a title-defending team that has question marks in the rotation beyond its top six players (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole). He said he’s looking forward to players having to earn their minutes.
“The beauty of it is everything has to be earned,” Kerr said on Wednesday. “I talk about how unique each season is — that’s what makes this season unique. The first three times we came back from winning championships, the rotations were really set. We had a deep roster, we had veteran rosters, we kind of knew exactly who was going to play and what combinations would form.
“This is very different. It’s rare, I think, for a championship team to come back with a lot of young talent that has a chance to compete for playing time. I like that dynamic. I think competition is good. It brings the best out of everybody. I don’t even really have a rotation. I just look at it as we’ve got six guys who played integral roles in us winning the title. We know who they are. We know what they do. And then everybody else is ‘go’ time. It’s right there for you; you’ve just gotta go earn it.”
Kerr also touched on several other topics with Kawakami, including Jonathan Kuminga, James Wiseman, rookies Ryan Rollins and Patrick Baldwin Jr., tweaks to the coaching staff, and more. Regarding Kuminga, Kerr said the organization is pleased with his progress entering year two.
“JK’s had a really good summer, he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s traveled some, he played for his national team this summer. He’s been working really hard,” Kerr said. “I know there was that weird report that came out, I think Stephen A. Smith said something about JK. And honestly, Bob (Myers) and I, when that came out, we called each other and asked, ‘Where did that come from?’ Because it made no sense. JK’s been great, he’s done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s working hard. I enjoy coaching him. He’s right where he needs to be, and just gotta keep getting better every day.”
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Anthony Slater of The Athletic explores what Andre Iguodala‘s return means for the Warriors. Iguodala announced he was returning for his 19th and final season earlier today. In addition to being a locker room mentor for young players like Poole, Kuminga and Moses Moody, Iguodala also showed that he can still provide a lot of on-court value, even his minutes were limited due to nagging injuries. As Slater notes, Golden State was plus-114 in Iguodala’s 603 minutes last season.
- In a separate story for The Athletic, Slater poses four roster questions entering training camp, including how Wiseman and Kuminga will work together. While both Wiseman and Kuminga have tantalizing potential, spacing might be an issue when they share the court, Slater writes.
- If free agent addition JaMychal Green can fill the void left by Otto Porter Jr.‘s departure, that would be ideal for the Warriors, according to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, who breaks down what fans can expect from JaMychal in 2022/23.