Warriors’ 2022-23 NBA title defense will be ‘really fun’, believes Steve Kerr

Why Kerr thinks Dubs title defense will be ‘really fun’ appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea

Steve Kerr knows a thing or two about trying to repeat as an NBA champion. He also knows what it’s like to try to win three straight NBA titles.

That goes a long way to explaining why Kerr is looking forward to the Warriors’ upcoming title defense during the 2022-23 NBA season.

“My experience is trying to replay is really fun,” Kerr said on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon and Ratto” Thursday. “It’s when, if you’re lucky enough to win two in a row, that third year is where the real grind happens.”

As a player with the Chicago Bulls, Kerr and Co. won the NBA title in 1996 and repeated as champions in 1997. They managed to win the three-pointer in 1998, but that was the infamous “last dance” for the Bulls under Michael Jordan. . Kerr was then traded to the San Antonio Spurs and they won the title in 1999, but were unable to repeat in 2000. Kerr and the Spurs won the championship again in 2003, but in 2004 they fell behind.

As the Warriors’ coach, Kerr has experienced both the pain and the joy of trying to repeat. Golden State came up short in 2016, but managed to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018. In their quest to make it to the top three in 2019, injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson derailed them.

But after a joyous run to the 2021-22 title, Kerr can’t wait to get to training camp and start the new season.

“I don’t think we’re going to burn out by any means,” Kerr said. “Actually, I think we’re going to be pretty excited. I think all of our guys are going to be ready to repeat and try to repeat. Our guys love to play, they love to compete. That’s what they do. They rested well this summer, so I think everyone is excited.

“And they don’t have much to prove, if anything. But it’s also a pretty good place to be when you’re playing with a little money from home. To our vets, Steph [Curry]Clay [Thompson]Draymond [Green]maybe Andre [Iguodala], depending on what he decides to do, these guys have four rings and nothing to prove. So they can go out and just let it rip and play for the joy of the game and their natural competitiveness will take over. And I expect us to have a great season.”

Asked to explain why he feels there’s such a huge difference between trying to repeat and three-peat, Kerr talked about how much the third year takes out of a team, much like what happened with the Warriors in 2019 when they felt like that team. was about to fall apart at the end.

“I just think by the third year, everything catches up to you,” Kerr said. “The physical toll, the emotional toll, the mental toll, it’s just tough. You’ve got teams coming after you every night. Great teams, great athletes, great coaches, they scheme, they block, it’s exhausting to be on that mountain and have people try to let you down every day.

“Year 2, in my experience, there’s a lot of confidence, there’s a lot of joy, there’s a lot of energy and after Year 3, you’re like a marathon runner and the last couple of miles, you’re just trying to get to the finish line and it’s hard to win with this way”.

RELATED: Hardaway praises Steph’s ability to calm skeptics

For now, all the Warriors need to worry about is trying to repeat and win their fifth NBA title in nine seasons. They may be worried about trying to three-peat next summer.

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