Suns’ Jay Triano takes no offense to Steve Kerr’s coaching tactics
The Phoenix Suns, who have the most losses in the NBA (40) at this point of the season, are the talk of the league following a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors Monday night in Oakland.
The Warriors, gunning for their third NBA championship in the last four years, dismantled the Suns 129-83, handing the young Phoenix team their fourth loss by more than 40 points this season — a mark which ties an NBA record.
During the game, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr allowed his players to draw up plays and basically guide the discussion during timeouts.
Kerr explained himself after the game.
“They’re tired of my voice,” Kerr said. “I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last few years. I wasn’t reaching them, and we just figured it was probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”
But there’s the matter of the other team involved in the game. Were Kerr’s actions (or lack thereof) a show of disrespect to the struggling Suns?
Suns head coach Jay Triano says no.
“I don’t think so,” Triano told Doug & Wolf Tuesday morning on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “I talked to Steve immediately after the game and he was explaining the situation his team is in right now. He didn’t feel like they were together and he wanted to challenge them a little bit.
“What they did was take over timeouts. There was like eight plays there, so I don’t think that is disrespectful at all, I think he’s just trying to find ways to get his team to where he needs them to be.”
Triano’s feelings were not unanimous throughout the Suns locker room.
Forward Jared Dudley shared his thoughts to ESPN’s Chris Haynes.
Jared Dudley to ESPN on Steve Kerr allowing his players to coach. “It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect. When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 13, 2018
Dudley also wondered if Kerr would use a similar tactic against some other more established teams.
So you believe he would of done this vs Spurs, Rockets, or Cavs?? https://t.co/nPFxnmdbba
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 13, 2018
Guard Troy Daniels also took offense, telling azcentral.com’s Scott Bordow after the game “it’s disrespectful.”
But Daniels wasn’t done. “I don’t think it’s hard to coach those guys, though. I think anyone can do it.”
Triano said he’s listened to players in practice and even went as far as letting the team run practice once last week.
“I let them over a few of the things they thought we needed to improve on and they had a couple of unique ideas,” he said. “So, I just think it’s feedback from players. They’re not making management decisions. They’re not making in-game strategies, as far as anything other than drawing up plays. I didn’t have a real issue with it.
“And to be honest with you, I had no idea it was going on until the end of the game because I’m locked in what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish on our end of the floor.”