The basketball-viewing public has paid a price for TNT’s apparent violation of Steve Kerr’s trust.
The Golden State Warriors head coach is angry at the network for airing an in-game chat he had with Kevin Durant about Michael Jordan because it revealed his team’s basketball strategy, USA TODAY’s Sam Amick reported Thursday, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation.
Kerr wore a microphone May 24 during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, allowing TNT to hear him implore Durant to “trust his teammates” and pass them the ball earlier than he had previously done. Kerr believes TNT crossed a line in airing that chat and refused to wear a microphone again until the NBA Finals, which ESPN is airing on ABC, began a week later.
“Above all else, Kerr is a stickler for keeping all matters of basketball strategy in-house,” Amick writes. “As such, a video that made it clear in real-time that Golden State was trying to go away from iso-ball was seen as off-limits.
“But from Kerr on down, the Warriors also knew the optics of that scene were potentially sensitive. Considering the context of how he came their way two summers ago, giving the impression that Durant wasn’t willing to trust his teammates would belie the beauty of their powerful partnership.”
The Warriors lost to Houston on May 24 but rebounded to win the next two games and the series, followed by another three consecutive wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers to start the NBA Finals in stunning fashion.
Durant is peaking at the right moment, as his 43-point, 13-rebound, 7-assist performance in Game 3 against the Cavs proves he benefits from listening to his coaches and trusting his teammates.
Thumbnail photo via Benny Sieu/USA TODAY Sports Images