Ex-Patriots Executive Explains How Steve Kerr, Bill Belichick Are Alike


Feb 15, 2018

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the NBA, so when he made the decision Monday to allow his players to coach, it was hard not to believe there was some sort of rationale behind it.

Turns out Kerr felt his players were tuning him out, so when they played the Phoenix Suns he elected to defer to some of his players to draw up plays and handle some of the other coaching duties.

For one former New England Patriots executive, it was similar to a move Pats head coach Bill Belichick would pull during OTAs.

Mike Lombardi explained on The Ringer’s “GM Street” podcast how Kerr’s decision was straight out of the Belichick coaching playbook.

“It is one of the things, Belichick, I think, it was one of the brilliant things Belichick would do during OTA days, and the media gave him a wrath of crap for it,” Lombardi said, via WEEI.com. “Back in the day, the Patriots never wore numbers out at practice during their OTA days. People would say, ‘Belichick is just trying to be an (expletive) to the media.’ No, Belichick is not really interested in what the media thinks, obviously by the Malcolm Butler (situation), whatever he wants to do. He wants to do something that benefits his team. What he was trying to accomplish was, if the numbered guy doesn’t have a jersey on him, he has to communicate, he’s empowered to have to talk and unify the team together. If you can create a dynamic in practice to do that, wow, that is awesome.

“Kerr did the same thing, ‘I am going to step back and now you guys have to communicate. You guys have to work it out because I am not always going to be standing in front of you.’ 82 nights, do you really think Kerr is giving a pep-talk? This is not ‘Hoosiers’. You can’t do it. I thought this was a way to enhance himself and the team, and empower the team, which in that sport being empowered as players is important.”

Certainly an interesting way to look at it.

Kerr’s move was not without criticism. Suns forward Jared Dudley viewed it as a sign of disrespect, while Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue claimed he would never do it.

Nevertheless, Kerr has a pretty demonstrated track record of getting positive results out of his players, so it’s no surprise some of his moves can be compared to Belichick, who, of course is known for doing the same thing.

Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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