The Warriors were blown out on Christmas, and despite having the best record in the West, it’s still leading to some concern. This hasn’t been an easy start for Golden State. The Warriors have, for once, looked mortal. Kevin Durant and Draymond Green feuded and that led to Green being suspended. Durant continues to upset the entire world, including LeBron James, with podcast and social media comments. Then, of course, there’s the usual stuff with basketball fans claiming the Warriors ruined the NBA by forming possibly the greatest collection of talent ever.
Steve Kerr is getting tired of this. He’s used to handling the drama that comes with being on historically great teams. He did play with Michael Jordan, but that doesn’t make all of the criticism any less exhausting. Still, he knows that he can’t let the criticism and drama sink into the team. If that happens then all that will follow is a team sinking. Kerr is doing his best to avoid that.
“The bar’s been set high,” Kerr said after Wednesday’s practice. “I told our guys that; I gave them that line today. You guys have set the bar really high. So everything takes on a little greater sense of urgency in terms of what happens around the team. We’re maybe the most scrutinized team in the history of the league. We’re right there with the Bulls teams that I played on… It doesn’t matter. What matters is how you respond to a bad loss, to a bad stretch, to injuries. As long as you keep responding, keep showing up to work, keep sticking together, keep working, good things are going to happen. That’s what I believe with this group.”
Calling the Warriors the most scrutinized team in the league wouldn’t be a stretch. After all, everybody wants to take a shot at the champs, but the most scrutinized team in the history of the league? That take might be a little harder to defend. This team is receiving tons of attention there’s no doubt about that, but just in recent memory alone, we have the LeBron James Heat teams. The Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant Lakers. The entirety of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland. Teams that had non-stop media attention and were placed under microscopes to be analyzed to the smallest detail.
Although to be fair, the Warriors have gotten just as much attention as those teams. They’ve just dodged the criticism by winning. It doesn’t matter how much criticism you receive as long as you win titles. So it’s hard to compare. Maybe when the Warriors start losing some playoff games, we’ll get a better idea of how scrutinized they really are.