Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has always been known as a passionate coach, and the emotions spilled over during Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
Late in the second half, as the Warriors were in the midst of erasing a 19-point deficit against the Dallas Mavericks en route to a resounding 126-117 win, Kerr shared a hug with big man Kevon Looney as the veteran turned in a career-best performance. After falling out of the starting lineup for a stretch during the first round and conference semifinals, Looney has come back in a big way, playing a key role as the Warriors advanced to the conference finals and have now grabbed a two-games-to-none lead over the Mavericks.
The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!
Kerr Gets Emotional With Looney
Looney played a huge role in Golden State’s Game 6 win over the Memphis Grizzlies last week, grabbing a career-high 22 rebounds including 11 on the offensive end. He turned in another career-best performance against the Mavericks on May 20, this time scoring a career-high 22 points.
The Warriors coach showed his appreciation for Looney, grabbing him for a hug during the fourth quarter as Golden State stormed back into the lead. Warriors fans appreciated the show of emotion from Kerr.
“Steve Kerr hug Kevon Looney is the most wholesome moment of today’s game,” one fan tweeted.
Looney got another hug after the game, with teammate Jordan Poole waiting for the veteran to end his postgame interview before grabbing him.
The playoffs have been quite a ride for Looney, who was initially benched in favor of rookie Jonathan Kuminga but came off the bench and back into the starting lineup after the Grizzlies changed strategies following the injury to Ja Morant. Memphis moved Steven Adams into the starting lineup, and Kerr countered by putting Looney back at the front of the rotation.
Fans Appreciate Looney
Fans inside the Chase Center also took the chance to show their appreciation for Looney in Friday’s game, busting out a chant usually reserved for Curry. Near the end of the third quarter, as Looney was going to the free-throw line to try to complete a three-point play, fans started to chant “MVP! MVP! MVP!”
Looney sank the free throw, but said after the game that he wasn’t used to getting that kind of attention at the line.
“Uh, it was nerve-racking,” Looney said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “I ain’t shot a free throw in like three weeks so I’m trying to focus on making the free throw. But it was a cool moment for me. I made the free throw so that was even better.”
Though the chants may have led to some tense moments for Looney, the Warriors veteran said that game was one of the highlights of his career.
“It’s just fun having a good night like that,” Looney said. “Leading a comeback like that is something you dream about as a kid. I got MVP chants so that was pretty cool. I’m going to cherish that one, I might not get another one so I’m going to have to cherish that one.”