A Steve Kerr comment was seemingly taken out of context, Kevin Durant got upset and everybody lost in this Twitter drama.
Kerr, Durant’s former head coach with Golden State, made what appeared to be a curious statement about the final year of the Warriors’ dynasty on a podcast with The Ringer. Kerr said that he enjoyed the Warriors’ 2019-20 season, during which they finished 15-50, more than Durant’s final season with the team, when they lost to the Raptors in the NBA Finals.
“That last year was tough,” Kerr said. “There was a lot going on – some that you know about and some that you don’t. That was very difficult.”
Durant, ever the Twitter surveyor, appeared to take issue with the quote.
“This is hilarious,” Durant tweeted in response.
Unprompted, Kerr explained his frustrations about the quote being taken out of context at length during a postgame press conference. He clarified that the idea of his quote was that the final year of the dynasty was an “absolute bear.”
“The stress level, two season-ending injuries during the Finals … we had all kinds of stress,” Kerr said.
Contrary to the quote that was circulated in a tweet, Kerr claims the stress had nothing to do with Durant. Instead, it was the pressure of success and the mounting injuries, and on the podcast, he said he experienced relief coaching a group of young players were eager to learn.
There have been hints of trouble from that final season. Durant’s exit from Golden State was hastened by his feud with outspoken forward Draymond Green. Durant has also previously been critical of the offense that Kerr built for the Warriors, which is perhaps why Durant assumed Kerr’s comment was directed at him.
He also clarified several times that he was not happy with the way the story was reported, and was specifically upset with Drew Schiller, who tweeted the out-of-context quote that Durant responded to.
“If you want to actually get the story accurate, I would encourage you to actually listen to the podcast. It was a terribly unfair shot, completely taking something out of context to the point where people are going to read it and think that was my quote,” Kerr said.
“To take that comment and put it into a tweet and send it out into the universe is so irresponsible and damaging. And I’m angry.”
Kerr mentioned later that he hadn’t heard from Durant, and had only heard about the Twitter exchange.
Durant remained insistent that he would “defend his honor” on Twitter.