By Kaleb Page
In today’s NBA it cannot be denied that the Western Conference is the best conference. With teams that are contenders to win not only the West but an NBA title as well. The surprise of the year thus far is the historic start the Golden State Warriors have that sees them sitting a top the Western Conference and in most minds as the best team in the league.
With a team this successful it is also a surprise since the coach is just a first year man. Fresh out of the broadcasting realm, Steve Kerr was granted a great opportunity. After the Warriors let go of coach Mark Jackson they wanted to get a new basketball mind that seemed like the hot item at the time. This past summer when Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher were two of the big names on the market, teams needing a coach looked at them as must haves. With Fisher having a tough time in New York with the Knicks and Kerr finding success with the Warriors it seems that the Warriors got the better end of the deal. There is one caveat to this scenario however.
Is Kerr just the recipient of being handed the keys to an already tuned up machine? For years Golden State was the laughing-stock of the league with no relevance at all, until they hired Mark Jackson who took the role of giving the team an identity and some sense of discipline they had been lacking for years. With Jackson putting in a lot of the leg work it leaves me looking at this run the Warriors are having with some skepticism.
Mainly this is caused by the fact that Jackson was a good coach and for all the work he put in didn’t he deserve a longer leash? I guess sometimes a change is nice, but is there really any difference from this team to last years with Jackson? I don’t see much besides the emergence and progression of players like Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson (just to name a few). These progressions that more than likely were coming even if Kerr wasn’t the coach.
The Washington Post article on Kerr was interesting talking about how this coach could be seeing the Erik Spoelstra treatment in not getting enough credit for what he is doing with the team. While I do hold my reservations since a lot of the foundation was laid by coach Jackson, there is something to be said for what can be done once that foundation is laid down. For what its worth Kerr looks to be making a great foundation into a great project in the works.
Hopefully the work done thus far this year turns out and Kerr can fully show that his coaching is the reason for this success. If Kerr is the bright coveted disciple of the Phil Jackson coaching tree then this Warriors team full of talent could become an all-time great team poised for a great run for years to come with its core of young talent.