Steve Kerr Reveals Difficult Talk With Warriors Big Man

Warriors' Kevon Looney benched

Getty Klay Thompson #11 and Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors look on from the bench.

After Klay Thompson‘s demotion to the bench, Kevon Looney was the next odd man out in Steve Kerr’s attempt to bridge the Golden State Warriors dynasty years to a new winning era.

Looney’s streak of 290 games played, the second-longest in the league came to an end in the Warriors’ 125-122 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, March 7, at Chase Center.

“The thing with Loon is he’s a great pro,” Kerr said on the “Willard and Dibs” on 95.7 The Game on Friday night, March 8. “The streak, what it represents is what’s really important that he’s available every single night. The number is just the number. And he’s ready. We’re going to need him again for sure. We’re going to need him against certain matchups in the playoffs. I know what he can do and I know how professional he is. And having said all that I feel terrible about breaking that streak because I know it meant a lot to him.”

Kerr revealed some details of the difficult conversations he had with Looney about his demotion.

“We talked about this. Last week I went to Loon and talked to him about Trayce [Jackson-Davis] taking over that role,” Kerr said. “And I told him how much pride that I have in his streak, and I knew how much pride he had and I had a similar one as a player that I took great pride in.

“But, the bottom line for me is, we’ve committed to giving those minutes to Trayce and it didn’t feel right to me to just for the sake of the streak, throw Loon out there for a couple of minutes. I didn’t think that was fair. It’s almost patronizing in a lot of ways.”

Kevon Looney’s Future

The writing’s on the wall for Looney when the Warriors looked at big men leading to the February 8 trade deadline.

On January 30, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported the Warriors explored the center market as Looney’s minutes began to drop.

“Kevon Looney is having a down season and is currently watching his minutes disappear after Green’s return. The Warriors have explored the center market,” Slater wrote on January 30.

Only $3 million of Looney’s $8 million salary for next season is guaranteed.

Jackson-Davis’ emergence makes Looney expendable this summer. He could get cut or packaged in a potential trade in the offseason if owner Joe Lacob follows through on his plan to get under the luxury tax.

Trayce Jackson-Davis Questionable vs Spurs

Jakcson-Davis, who played stellar in back-to-back games off the bench, had sustained a sprained right ankle which makes him questionable to play against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night.

The Warriors’ rookie big man tweaked his ankle in a defensive sequence against the Bulls before getting subbed out in the fourth quarter.

Jackson-Davis produced 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. He was sensational against the Milwaukee Bucks the previous night with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Looney could momentarily return to the rotation if Jackson-Davis sits out.

The Warriors will already be without Stephen Curry, who also rolled his right ankle during Thursday’s loss.

But even without Curry and Jackson-Davis a game-time decision, the Warriors are 10.5-point favorites against the Spurs, per Bovada, one of the best offshore sportsbooks.

San Antonio will be without No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, who is also nursing a right ankle sprain.

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