The Golden State Warriors are the NBA Champions for the 2nd time in 3 years. The team is celebrating but there are major issues that need to be addressed if they want to make it to a fourth consecutive NBA Finals and win a 3rd championship.
Talks of contract renewal for key players such as Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Andre Iguodala are looming and there are other role players who would need to take pay cuts to remain on the team.
Draymond Green is usually referred to as the vocal and emotional leader of his team while prior to the arrival of Kevin Durant, Steph Curry was recognized as the superstar player, he was also coming off a phenomenal season where he won his second MVP title and remains the only unanimous MVP winner.
The NBA’s rising salary cap and Steph Curry’s bargain contract made it possible for the Golden State Warriors to sign Kevin Durant.
However, a major issue Steve Kerr needs to address is how he conducts interviews and how he manages the ego of his star players. This is an area where a major issue is gradually creeping up and if it is not managed properly it could affect the team’s morale.
Though Golden State Warriors as a team has been lauded for their unselfish team play, their player’s willingness to sacrifice individual glory for the greater good of the team.
Having said all the above, It is also a known fact that superstar players love to be appreciated and respected for their contribution to the team, this helps to improve their loyalty to the organization and their performance on the court.
In this area, Steve Kerr will need to make some necessary adjustments as he has recently made it a habit to openly criticise Steph Curry this was notable last year during the Golden State Warriors loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas day after a poor performance from Curry, Kerr said: “I think he can be a little smarter, I think he can make better decisions, and that’ll help against anybody,”
Steph Curry performance in that game was poor but singling him out for blame was unnecessary as the team lost control of the game and complaining so blatantly to the media should have been the last thing to do.
Such comments have negative impacts on most superstar players. Lebron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and other star players don’t get such direct criticisms from their coaches.
Steve Kerr is always in the habit of not openly criticising Kevin Durant or Draymond Green whenever they perform poorly, singling out Steph Curry for blame when the team play badly could is a questionable approach from the All-Star coach.
He also refused to mention Steph Curry name in his speech during the Golden State Warriors title parade while appreciating the players’ contribution to the team success, although he promptly apologised afterward, such an obvious omission should not have occurred at all.
This came shortly after he declared Kevin Durant the Warriors’ best player on The Lowe Post podcast shows that he is gradually underrating Steph Curry role in the team.
Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are both superstars in their prime. Durant is arguably a better player because he has been more consistent throughout his career and he is also a four-time scoring champion.
Steph Curry was only recognised as a superstar from the 2014 season as he struggled with ankle injuries during his earlier seasons in the NBA.
Steph Curry is a better shooter, remains the only anonymous MVP winner and is arguably the greatest 3 points shooter in the history of the game.
His global impact cannot be rivaled even by the great Lebron James as kids all over the world want to shoot or play like the two-time MVP.
Steph Curry allowed Kevin Durant to flourish initially by making him feel comfortable and welcomed to the team that’s was why his stats dropped initially and that was very rare and selfless.
When Kevin Durant got injured Steph Curry stepped up and carried the team, he eventually finished as the team’s leading scorer in the regular season despite a poor start to the season with 25.3 ppg while Kevin Durant finished second with 25.1 ppg.
Steph Curry was also the Golden State Warriors best player prior to the NBA finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers as he was their most dominant player in the series against Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and the San Antonio Spurs respectively.
Kevin Durant had the better finals because he matched up well physically to Lebron James and he stepped up his game to an elite level finishing with 35.2 ppg, he was a worthy recipient of his 1st championship and silenced his critics with a performance that saw him deservedly win the finals MVP.
Steph Curry also performed excellently in the finals finishing with 26.8 ppg, 8.0 rebounds, and 9.4 assists as he capped up the wonderful finals to silence his doubters who repeatedly claimed he is a big game flop and he couldn’t handle the pressure.
The attention Steph Curry draws on offense makes things easier on his teammates he also sets up the right play for his teammates as he orchestrates Golden State Warriors offensive system.
If Steph Curry had a beef with Kevin Durant or allowed his ego to be bruised as a result of all the accolades Kevin Durant received the Golden State Warriors won’t be celebrating their 2nd championship triumph.
Lebron James team flops when he is not there because the system has to have him present on the court to work if he is not there the players are clueless only Kyrie Irving though he is a ball hog can try to make something happen without Lebron James on the court.
Golden State Warriors work because the team try and give an opportunity to everybody and that system works primarily because it is based on Steph Curry’s ball distribution so he is unarguably their most important player because he is the facilitator of their style of play.
If Steve Kerr wants to keep the team united and reduce the chances of any friction he needs to avoid the media narrative that proclaims that Kevin Durant is the leader and the only superstar of the team, he needs to keep everything level handed and appreciate the players so that the media don’t destroy the team chemistry.
The media don’t care if the Golden State Warriors succeeds they are just looking for news, clicks, and entertainment.
The two-time regular season MVP winner doesn’t have a Finals MVP after three straight trips to the NBA finals but he remains the cog that binds the team together with his triple threat ability to shoot, drive or pass the ball to his teammates and make the appropriate play that leads the team to victory.
Steph Curry might no longer be regarded as the best player in the Golden State Warriors team as a result of Kevin Durant arrival but he still remains the most important player in the team as he is the oil in the Golden State Warriors machine.
If they intend to win more championships in future, Steve Kerr will, therefore, need to give him the respect he rightfully deserves.