Steve Kerr Says Warriors Aren’t Looking At Season As ‘Final Dance’ After Comparison To 1997-98 Bulls
The Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr expanded on the team’s focus going into the 2018-2019 season in a post-practice interview.
Kerr was interviewed following the team’s first practice on Tuesday at the Rakuten Performance Center in Downtown Oakland and was quick to knock down a comparison between his old 1997-98 Chicago squad and this seasons Warriors.
“Last dance?” Kerr said with a smile “I hope not. I hope we keep dancing.”
“I think the difference is with Phil [Jackson] in ’98 we all were free agents and we all knew we were all going to be gone, including Phil,” Kerr said. “But we’re not in that same position. We do have plenty of free agents, but we’re not looking at this as the final dance. Like I said, we want to have some fun and enjoy what we have this year and move on from there.”
The Warriors are enjoying the luxury of having four All-Stars in their prime. Kevin Durant is eligible for free agency again this summer, Klay Thompson’s contract expires in 2019, Draymond Green’s deal runs out in ’20, and Stephen Curry‘s ends in ’22.
“We want them here for the long haul. [Warriors GM] Bob [Myers] said it best in the offseason, in the summer, especially these days in the NBA: You just take it year by year. And that’s our focus is this year. This will probably be the last time that I say anything about free agency for next year. It’s a good question on the first day of practice because that’s going to be looming. But it will be looming for fans and media, it won’t be looming for us. We’re going to focus on this year. Have a great time, have some fun, go out and try to do it again and we’ll worry about all that other stuff later.”
The Warriors signed All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins during the offseason to a one-year, 5.3 million deal. Practice started at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, while Cousins received treatment. Between 9 and 11 a.m., though, Cousins completed a two-hour workout that sounded pretty extensive.
“I don’t think it will take too long before he takes part in practice,” Kerr said when asked about the status of Cousins. “But for right now, it’s important he gets his full workout with the training staff.”
“DeMarcus did a ton of movement stuff, court work, ball handling and shooting stuff on his own,” Kerr said.
“But he did not take part with the team. We’re just taking it slowly with him.”
The team also announced the signing of free-agent forwards Marcus Derrickson and Alfonzo McKinnie, along with free-agent guards Danuel House Jr. and Kendrick Nunn.
The Warriors elevated Bruce Fraser to assistant coach after he spent the past five seasons on the team’s coaching staff. The Warriors also named Chris DeMarco as assistant coach and director of player development after spending the past six seasons in different roles including video intern (2012-13), assistant video coordinator (2013-14), advance scout/video scout (2014-15) and assistant coach/player development (2015-2018).
“[I’m] really pleased with the first day but I’m not ready to celebrate just yet, we need a good week before we really get rolling.” Kerr said.
Following four days of training camp, the Warriors will open their preseason schedule at Oracle Arena on Saturday, Sept. 29 against the Minnesota Timberwolves before heading to Seattle to play the Sacramento Kings on Oct 5.