4 Warriors mistakes that would get any coach besides Steve Kerr fired

The Warriors finished the season tenth in the Western Conference and were ousted in the play-in game. These are four mistakes that would get any coach besides Steve Kerr fired.
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Golden State Warriors have had an incredible ten-season run under Steve Kerr, making the Finals six times and winning four titles. With that type of success comes incredible job security, and Kerr recently inked a two-year $35 million contract extension to stay in the bay through the 2025-26 season. 

While Kerr has had nearly unparalleled success with the Warriors, the 2023-24 season wasn’t his finest. With the blunders he has made this season, just about any other coach would at the very least be on the hot seat, instead, Kerr sits on a throne made of money. These are four mistakes Kerr made this season that would get any other coach fired. 

4. Never easing Stephen Curry’s offensive burden

Steve Kerr is well aware of the burden Stephen Curry carries on the court. Following a 37-point outburst in December, he said "[Steph has] had to carry this team, let's be honest, for the first quarter of the season." Kerr added, "We just haven't been able to build momentum and find lineups that are clicking. He's carried us and then the Draymond news, I think he was emotionally spent the last few days."

Kerr knew he was thrusting an unsustainable workload on Curry in December, but he could never find a solution. Instead of solving the most pertinent question of their season, he chose to squeeze every last ounce of juice out of Curry in the regular season, and it showed in the play-in. 

Against the Kings, Curry looked gassed and it led to a poor shooting performance and a spate of inexplicable turnovers. For a franchise like the Warriors, the playoffs aren't the finish line, they’re the start of the race. Kerr asking the now 36-year-old to carry the offense every night is how the Warriors reached game 83 with their most important player physically spent. At least now Curry will have time to recover. 

3. Reigning in Draymond Green

Kerr riding Curry into the ground before the playoffs even began is directly tied to his inability to reign in Draymond Green. The Warriors were excellent with Curry and Green on the court (plus-5.01 net rating), but Green’s two significant suspensions in the first half of the season put them in a hole that required a mad dash to the finish line, and they still weren’t able to fully recover in the standings. 

Green is an adult and bears a large share of the responsibility, but Kerr’s inability to reign in Green’s on-court outbursts has cost the Warriors too many times. The idea that you have to take the bad with the good is ridiculous. No other player has cost his team so much by an utter lack of control over their emotions, and Kerr has stood idly by as Green’s behavior has escalated. 

Kerr’s unwillingness to hold Green accountable is why the Warriors were without one of their most important players for over a quarter of the season. The blame isn’t all on Kerr, but outside of Green, he’s the most at fault, and it cost them dearly.  

2. Not utilizing the Warriors young players

The Warriors built a dynasty around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, but with the trio all 33 years old and older, Kerr needed to trust his young players to help get them through the season. The roles and minutes given to Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski, Moses, Moody, and Trayce Jackson-Davis were sporadic and came about far too late in the season. 

While each of the Warriors’ young players, outside of Moody, found themselves starting critical games, it was only after an older player flopped or was injured. Kerr has never trusted young players, but this was the season he needed to. It would have kept his veterans fresh, and more importantly, it would have helped them win games. 

The Warriors and Kerr are undoubtedly excited about the roles their young core will have next season, but if he had been a little more trusting of the youth, they could have been excited about their roles in the 2024 playoffs. 

1. Riding and dying with Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson

What the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” implies is that if something is broken, you should, in fact, fix it. I’m only clarifying the implication of one of the most used sayings in the English language because Steve Kerr clearly does not understand it. 

With Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins on the court, the Warriors posted a minus-5.12 net rating, and with both on the bench, the Warriors ran a plus-9.92 net rating. Clearly, having Wiggins and Thompson on the court is broken, but that didn’t stop Kerr from pairing them for 1,048 minutes this season, and starting them in a do-or-die play-in game. 

Look, I get it. The Thompson and Wiggins duo helped the Warriors win a title, but that was two years ago. They stunk with them on the court together and were amazing when they sat. Kerr started a broken lineup in the most important game of the season and rode with it until the season was all but over.  

Next. 3 Warriors who won't be back after Play-In loss to Kings. 3 Warriors who won't be back after Play-In loss to Kings. dark