Steve Kerr is normally a man of great patience and empathy. We’ve seen him hold his tongue on many an occasion. But, sometimes, his insides stew like a volcano on the precipice of explosion. At such moments, those around him quiver like villagers on the mountainside. Sometimes he’ll break a clipboard, sometimes he’ll lay into one of the players.
Last night, following a dispiriting Game 6 in which the Warriors were thoroughly outplayed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Steve Kerr approached the podium, gave props to the Cavs for their dominant win, but then lit into the referees, who had called a mind-fumblingly confusing game.
Steve Kerr begging for a fine, trying to set tone with Game 7 refs pic.twitter.com/l68bZ0v1Mq— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) June 17, 2016
It’s a solid point. If you are going to let Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and every other perimeter defender grab a hold of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry as they come around screens, you can’t be calling chip shots on the MVP.
And it’s not just Warriors fans blinded by homerism that thought the officials missed some really, really important calls (like the one that fouled Curry out, leading to his ejection).
That was a great flop by LeBron too, make sure he came down on Curry's back to get the call— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) June 17, 2016
But, beyond the officiating, Kerr was trying to send a message to his players and to the league. The tone has been set, the gauntlet has been thrown down.
I loved this. And he put everything perfectly. Cleveland was better tonight and the refs were atrocious. https://t.co/icuLVk7bh2— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) June 17, 2016
Kerr out here writing fine checks with at the mic.— Seth Pollack (@sethpo) June 17, 2016
It’s on to Game 7, come hell or high water.
Note: We’ll have a bunch more about this game throughout the day, including a forthcoming piece about how Ivan and I went and partied at Finnerty’s, in NYC, and live tweeted with a whole bunch of (eventually disheartened) Warriors fans.
Watch a clip of his interview here: