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Saying the NBA’s players and coaches feel like “actors in a soap opera,” Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it’s all part of the modern-day league.
Kerr’s statements were in reaction to a press conference by Warriors star Kevin Durant on Wednesday night, when the two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player said he didn’t trust the media after speculation surfaced he could be headed to the New York Knicks when he hits free agency this summer.
“Maybe there’s more of that [speculation] because of the movement at the top of the star players that we’ve seen in the last few years,” Kerr told reporters Friday. “But more than anything, this is the modern NBA. There’s so much interest in things that go way beyond the basketball court. It used to be pretty much you just had to talk about basketball.
“We’re all actors in a soap opera. We really are. So we have to deal with that part of it. And also understand that that’s a big part of the revenue stream. The intense interest and passion that fans have for who’s going where, what team’s doing what. It’d be nice if everyone could just pay attention to pick-and-roll coverage, but gossip is more interesting sometimes and we’re all part of that. So you just accept it and deal with it the best you can, and you keep moving forward.”
Kerr said he has spoken to Durant about the combative press conference but declined to reveal what was discussed, adding Durant should be given a “pass” for his actions Wednesday night.
“He was blowing off some steam,” Kerr said. “We know Kevin very well. He’s been here three years. I think you guys would agree he’s been really good with media, with you guys. He’s been a great teammate. We all have moments of frustration, times in our life when we maybe don’t feel like talking, maybe we’re frustrated about something.
“So I think you just — you give him a pass. As I mentioned, he’s been so good for several years, taking care of all of his responsibilities on and off the floor here. We’re all human. We all get a little frustrated, so … move on.”