The Golden State Warriors were a great team several years ago when they won three NBA championships in four seasons, but now they are a true dynasty.
By defeating the Boston Celtics in six games in the NBA Finals, they have certainly earned their flowers more than ever before, and even those who doubted the legitimacy of their first three titles are coming around.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) June 20, 2022
Kerr has been at the helm of Golden State since the 2014-15 season, the first time it won it all with this core, and it has become apparent that he is much more than lucky to coach great talent.
Should Kerr now be considered one of the five greatest head coaches in NBA history?
Kerr Took The Warriors From Good To Great
Prior to the Warriors hiring Kerr, they were a good team that would make the playoffs, only to lose early.
They were coached by former player Mark Jackson from 2012 to 2014, and although he was regarded as a good coach, the team clearly had a ceiling under his leadership.
The Warriors were very strong defensively under Jackson, but offensively they were a bit stale, as they reverted too often to isolation basketball.
But under Kerr, the Warriors instantly went from 12th to second in offensive rating.
He instituted a motion offense that combined the principles of Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson, the legendary coaches he played for during his NBA career, and he started utilizing Curry off the ball much more.
Kerr also got Golden State to become a fast-breaking team, and just like that, they went from averaging 104.3 points to 110.0 points a game.
With their defensive culture already largely in place, the Warriors’ new and improved offense made them a force to be reckoned with.
He Got The Warriors Through Adversity
After Golden State won the 2018 championship, it looked like it was a budding dynasty, but it soon found itself dealing with trouble.
The next season, superstar Kevin Durant seemingly had one foot out the door, and Green was publicly critical of what he saw as Durant’s lack of commitment to the team.
The Warriors lost in the NBA Finals, where Durant tore his Achilles and Thompson tore his ACL.
Early the next season, Curry suffered a serious hand injury that forced him to miss the balance of the schedule.
It looked like Golden State’s dynasty was dead.
Wiggins was thought to be a square peg in a round hole when the Warriors first traded for him, but he drastically improved his 3-point shooting and defense.
Now, Kerr has won it all with a whole different supporting cast than he had several years ago.
One mark of a great coach is the ability to be hugely successful with different teams or at least different configurations on the same team, and Kerr has done that.
Steve Kerr is that guy 🏆 pic.twitter.com/pvTKP2ekSt
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 20, 2022
If Jackson, Popovich, Pat Riley, and Red Auerbach are considered the greatest coaches in NBA history, what is preventing Kerr from getting spot No. 5 on that list?
Despite having a new group of guys, he still got the Warriors to finish first in defensive rating this season, and for good measure, they were fifth in that category last year.
Clearly, Kerr has maintained a winning culture in Northern California, no matter who has suited up for him.