On the latest episode of the Bully Ball podcast, former Warriors star DeMarcus Cousins and Rachel Nichols discussed the Warriors’ ongoing struggles in the tournament. Earlier, Steve Kerr called out the Golden State Warriors roster, saying the team did not have the grit that “good teams need” after they succumbed to a 132-122 loss to the Kyrie Irving-less Dallas Mavericks. However, Cousins believes that the problem lies elsewhere.
After such statements from the head coach, rumors have swirled that the team could shake things up and potentially break up their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, who have won four NBA titles together. The former Center rubbished the suggestion, saying, “This core group is what made the Warriors, the Warriors. Not only bringing in the four championships. [Owner] Joe Lacob didn’t just increase the value of this team because he bought the team. Those three guys are huge part of the reason why this team is valued the way it is.”
Cousins added that the trio deserve to decide when their time at the franchise is up. He said that Thompson’s inconsistent form and Green’s suspension aren’t the reasons for the Warriors’ shortcomings this season, pointing a finger at Kerr, suggesting the head coach was the issue. He said,
“We watched Team USA [in the 2023 FIBA World Cup]. They struggled. And there was no reason for that. And there’s only one common denominator in that equation and that’s Steve Kerr. Maybe it’s time for new leadership in this Warriors locker room. Even the iPhone gets an update.”
Co-host Rachel Nichols claimed that Team USA did not have its best players during the FIBA World Cup, but Cousins rejected that excuse. He said,
“We haven’t always gone to these tournaments with our best players, but we’ve been successful. So why all of a sudden it’s now the players’ fault?”
Cousins argued that Team USA had enough talent to win the trophy. He’s right. They were the most talented unit on paper in the tournament and were the runaway favorites to win the World Cup. However, they lost in the semifinals to Germany, who went on to win the event.
Like Team USA, the Warriors have a strong roster on paper. It might not be among the best in the league, but it’s good enough to be above .500, 33 games into the season. Cousins made a valid point, and the Warriors should evaluate Kerr’s shortcomings.
Steve Kerr’s comments leave fans upset
Following the Warriors’ loss to the Mavericks, Kerr deflected blame onto the players for the loss, saying,
“We haven’t found that grit that every good team needs where you pull together and you just play for the group. We are not there yet and that’s a problem.Until this team really connects in a way that’s solely dedicated to winning each and every game, then we’re gonna be stuck in this place.”
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Warriors fans were less than impressed by Kerr’s comments and reminded him it was his job to set up the team for success. Outside of their title-winning campaign in the 2021-22 season, the Warriors have been thoroughly underwhelming since Kevin Durant’s exit from the team in 2019.
They failed to qualify for the playoffs in back-to-back seasons between 2019 and 2021. In the 2022-23 season, they limped to a sixth-placed finish in the regular season. The Los Angeles Lakers dispatched them in the second round of the playoffs.
This season, as well, it’s unlikely that they’ll secure a playoff spot. The Warriors will likely let Klay Thompson leave in free agency in the summer and explore what they can get for Draymond Green. Kerr’s position as the team’s head coach is currently safe. However, if the Warriors decide to hit the reset button on their title-winning core, his position should also be under scrutiny.