Steve Kerr NOT Coaching the Warriors Monday was an Experiment that Worked
Hmmmmm....what do you do to motivate a team that essentially has it all and in the coach's opinion may very well be mailing the eternally long regular season in?
How do you get them to pay attention to detail, to think about what they are doing while on the court?
If you're Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr, you tell them; "Why don't you coach yourselves?"
Which is exactly what happened in Oakland Monday night as the Warriors hosted the 18-39 Phoenix Suns.
The Warriors won the game. They won by 46 points, 129-83.
The move was treated with a raised eyebrow by many NBA observers. Kerr explained the move to Suns Coach Jay Triano after the game and while the Suns players were a little confused--they didn't complain....
Teams are struggling to make it to this weekends All-Star break, which oddly comes some 60 games into the season because it gives them a few days off. And don't sit there and say "These guys get a gazillion dollars to play a game". Which they do.
Try having to spend 8-9 months traveling and playing one of the physically most demanding sports in the world 18-20 times a month. Basketball takes a huge toll on the legs and the travel--no matter the comfort of the plane or hotel--wears you down over time.
I think Kerr's move was motivationally perfect, it reminded his team they need to pay attention to the details. It comes right before they get a few days off. ((Though roughly 1/2 of the Warriors are playing Sunday in the All-Star game))
The Warriors are still the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA title yet again---and it's little small things like what Kerr did on Monday which can make the difference between a tired, unfocused and uninterested team and a team paying attention to the little things that could make them great.