Kerr 'very, Very Confident' in His, Warriors' Actions as Reporter Questions Consistency on Social Issues - NBC Bay Area

Kerr 'very, Very Confident' in His, Warriors' Actions as Reporter Questions Consistency on Social Issues

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Kerr 'very, Very Confident' in His, Warriors' Actions as Reporter Questions Consistency on Social Issues
    Monte Poole
    Kerr 'very, very confident' in his, Warriors' actions as reporter questions consistency on social issues

    SACRAMENTO -- Steve Kerr, disbelief registering across his face turns his glare upon the inquisitor standing maybe two feet away. It is late Saturday afternoon, 90 minutes before Warriors-Kings tipoff, and his credentials are being questioned.

    Not his coaching credentials, mind you. Basketball is not the subject of the moment.

    Kerr's integrity is being questioned by an impetuous young reporter inside Golden 1 Center who asks, in so many words, if maybe Kerr, because neither he nor members of his team attended a noon rally in support of the local community reeling from the police-shooting death of Stephon Clark.

    "You don't think there's a contradiction there when you talk a lot about race or an issue like that, but then there's a march and somebody gets killed and you don't actually show up?" asks Tyler Tynes, a credentialed reporter from SB Nation.

    The implication, clearly, is that Kerr is more comfortable talking the talk than walking the walk.

    The coach seems acutely offended.

    "You're serious?" he asks.

    "Yeah, I am," says Tynes.

    Kerr suppresses an urge to lash out. It takes a considerable amount of energy to complete this suppression.

    "Ok," he begins. "It's up to each individual, you know, if he is going to pick his spots to make his contribution to society. I am very confident and comfortable in my own skin and in our players' lives, what they do for our communities, the way they speak out, the way I've spoken out. I feel very, very confident in what we've tried to do and I'm also very, very serious about my job.

    "So you can balance that any which way you want. You can be accusatory, if you like. I'm comfortable with what our team does and with what I do."

    Kerr speaks carefully and evenly, and firmly, with barely a trace of emotion, like a man stating beliefs he thought generally known. Maybe even proved by resume.

    This line of questioning startles him, sends his emotional needle toward the red zone. He conceals his rage, the only visible indication being his upper lip, which glistens slightly through stubble.

    This is Kerr seconds earlier: "We support the protests. Everybody in our organization wants to see change and wants to see justice. We're supportive. We have a job to do. So we're here to play the game tonight. You've got to pick your spots and do your job and take care of your business."

    This is Kerr on Friday: "I mentioned to our players (Thursday) that if they wanted to be part of anything that's going on, that it's something they should discuss."

    Kerr told me last week that he didn't want to watch the police body-cam video of the shooting of Clark. Said he'd heard about it and it already concluded it was more disturbing than anything he cared to witness.

    Here's what we know: Kerr has advocated for gun control and participated in the March For Our Lives last week. He has spoken out against sexism. He has spoken out against racism. He has spoken out against sexual-identity bigotry. He has attended and spoken at a town hall to address social issues.

    He has expressed his disapproval of the divisive administration of President Donald Trump.

    Kerr has been, along with San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, one of the most frequent voices on behalf of those being abandoned or criminalized or attacked in the current political climate.

    Kerr has said as much or more than any of the NBA's black coaches, who realize they may be in a more delicate situation -- something Kerr openly concedes.

    Maybe that explains his disbelief. And why his lip was damp as he responded.