If you have been a Warriors doubter, especially an NBA media member who has shrugged off the organization’s chances at getting back to its former glory, then be warned: coach Steve Kerr knows who you are.
That was one takeaway from a recent Sports Illustrated story on the Warriors from writer Howard Beck about the red-hot Warriors, who possess the league’s best record—18-2—as they head into a showdown against the defending West champs, the Suns. Phoenix comes in at 17-3, on an NBA-best 16-game winning streak.
Kerr compared himself in one of his quotes to vengeful Game of Thrones character Arya Stark, checking his list of reporters who have gone afoul of him in recent months.
“I’m like Arya from Game Of Thrones,” Kerr said. “Like, I have all the names of the media members who picked us to be out of the playoffs, and I’m just checking off the box. Every time I see one of those guys, I give them a little glare, and they know what that means.”
Warriors Have Top Defense, No. 2 Offense
A bit of revenge has been a theme for the Warriors, who have suffered some hard times in the past two years. Golden State, of course, went to the NBA Finals for five straight seasons from 2015-19, winning three titles. But the Warriors lost to Toronto in 2019, when Kevin Durant went down with an Achilles tendon injury and Klay Thompson suffered a torn ACL.
Durant left in the offseason after that loss. Stephen Curry also got hurt during the 2019-20 season, and played only five games as the Warriors went 15-50 in that season. Last year, with Curry doing much of the heavy lifting, the Warriors improved to 39-33. Now, Golden State is clicking on all cylinders, winning games and delivering retribution along the way.
Not only are the Warriors winning, they are dominating, leading the league in both wins and net rating. The team has the No. 1 defense in the NBA, allowing 99.4 points per 100 possessions, and the No. 2 offense (113.0). That’s a net rating of 13.6, well ahead of No. 2 on the list, the Jazz, with a rating of 9.8.
‘The ‘F*** You’ Warriors Are Back’
Kerr’s comment about giving the evil eye to skeptical reporters is reminiscent of the outlook from analyst and talking head Bill Simmons, who said on his podcast recently that the “F*** you” Warriors have returned.
Simmons pinpointed the win over the Nets on November 16 as the date those Warriors officially came back.
“Their ‘f*** you’ came back in the Brooklyn game, they kept Curry in for the extra two minutes so he could get the ninth 3 and I was like, ‘Oh, we’re at this stage already. The f*** you Warriors are back. I just thought they were good,’” Simmons said. “Look, this happens, where the teams kinda remember—I remember that game during the season when we finished second in the lottery when that one team poured it on.
“They start filing that sh** away. They’re gonna go through, I guarantee Draymond and Steph remember every moment from the last two years when somebody poured it on, somebody said something. I do think this is what’s gonna happen if this team stays healthy.”
Not just Draymond and Steph, however. Count Kerr among the Dubs who are “filing that sh** away,” too.