When TNT first paired up former clutch Chicago Bull Steve Kerr with the legendary Marv Albert (FROM DOWN-TOWN!), I was a little skeptical, but over time Kerr has really grown on me. He and Marv Albert are one of my favorite national hoops TV crews. Kerr also writes some great columns for Yahoo! Sports. In Kerr's recent mailbag Steve(n) dropped some serious science on the Warriors:
Why are you so gentle on Mike Dunleavy of the Golden State Warriors? He's a former No. 3 overall pick that has proved to be not much more than a "white hope," yet most of your comments put the onus on Baron Davis. Why the kid-glove treatment of Dunleavy? I enjoy your column, but you're as easy on him as the local press tends to be. They really pander to the readers from the suburbs. We in the inner city clearly see the double standard. You shouldn't play to it.
San Jose, Calif.
Steve Kerr: Steven, the reason I don't mention Dunleavy in the "Why aren't the Warriors making progress?" discussion is that I don't think he's capable of making a big difference. The difference maker on the team is Davis because when he's right and in shape he's an incredible player. Dunleavy is what he is: a decent NBA three man who is way overpaid. But if he has a really good year, I don't think it will matter that much to Golden State. They're still not going to be very good. Davis, on the other hand, can take the Warriors to the next level because he's amazingly gifted and can control a game. The onus in the NBA is always on the stars, regardless of race, color or creed. If Steve Nash has a bad year, the Suns won't be that great. If Kobe is injured, the Lakers won't be any good. So why would I waste my time ripping Raja Bell or Chris Mihm? Stars are stars; role players are role players. It's not my fault the Warriors made a huge mistake giving 45 million bucks to Dunleavy.
That's right. Steven Millner of San Jo dropped some knowledge. I have to agree with Steve from the Bay and disagree with Steve Kerr and his championship bling here. I do feel that the local media have given Mike Dunleavy a relative pass for his 4 uninspired seasons with the Warriors and criticized Baron way to heavily. GSoM is of course not in that category and a tiny percentage of you have voiced (very loudly) that we do the opposite. Also, I think there is some truth that the local papers and even the Warriors' marketing hypes up Dunleavy to reach the vanilla suburbs of the Bay, but that's fine- this is all debatable.
The bigger issue is whether Dunleavy is capable of making a difference and whether he should be held accountable for the losing. I will contend that Dunleavy can be a difference maker especially with those heavy 30 minutes a game Monty hands out to him, regardless of how poor he's playing. If he knocked down more of those wide open jumpers, shot better than 28.5% from 3pt land and grabbed more than 4.9 rebounds, the Warriors easily would have won a couple more games. Dunleavy is by no stretch an uber-talented NBA player, but he is better than he played last season.
The point isn't to harp on Dunleavy. If you've been reading our 2004-2005 report cards you know that there are a lot of poor grades for a team that overall performed poorly. The point is that everyone should be held accountable. So what if Dunleavy is a role player who by the way is paid like a star, was drafted like a star, hyped up by some as a star, and talks like a star? He's just as responsible as anyone for the losing last season. Dunleavy deserves to be ripped like everyone else not named Jason Richardson on the Warriors' roster. Props to Steven for his email to Kerr.
On a side note isn't it kind of odd that Steve Kerr, a great role player, would downplay the impact and accountability of role players like Raja Bell and Chris Mihm? It seems like a very strange stance to take. Did Kerr really devalue his role and impact that much when he was with the Bulls and Spurs on those championship teams? Seems a little self-defeating. His jump shots sealed a lot of meaningful games. History would be a little different if it weren't for guys like Steve Kerr and Robert "Big Shot Bob" Horry.
Also check out kirkkazas' diary Steve Kerr takes on Dunleavy and challenges BD for more great GSoM discussion.
Do you think everyone should be held accountable equally when a team struggles or should the stars/ best players be held more accountable?