‘Livid’ Steve Kerr Rips ‘Disgusting’ NBA Officiating in Warriors Loss

Steve Kerr, Warriors coach

Getty Steve Kerr, Warriors coach

Coach Steve Kerr has never been all that shy about making Warriors news when speaking his own truth, and after Golden State’s loss to the Nuggets on Christmas Day in Denver, he clearly had some things to say. It’s a fair bet he will get a call from commissioner Adam Silver and/or the NBA office about it.

What bothered Kerr on Monday was not so much the 120-114 loss to Denver, or the fact that Nuggets star Nikola Jokic racked up 26 points with 14 rebounds and eight assists. What bothered him was that Jokic went to the free-throw line 18 times in the game, and, for some stretches, seemed more interested in baiting the refs into making calls than in running the Denver offense.

“I have no problem with the officials themselves,” Kerr said in his postgame press conference. “All across the league we have really good officials. I have a problem with the way we are legislating defense out of the game. That’s what we’re doing in the NBA. The way we are teaching the officials, we’re just enabling players to BS their way to the foul line.”

Warriors News: 5 Nikola Jokic Foul Calls in 3rd Quarter

Certainly, Steve Kerr was testy with the officials all night, unhappy with the light fouls on Jokic drawing quick whistles. The Warriors were called for just two fouls on Jokic in the first half, but in a nip-and-tuck third quarter, the referees appeared to let Jokic (who shot just 4-for-12 from the field in the game) take over with his ability to, as Kerr said, “BS” his way to foul shots.

The Warriors were called for five fouls on Jokic in the third quarter. Four of those came with the Warriors within two points of the Nuggets, and disrupted any chance the Dubs had of taking control of the game.

In the fourth quarter, it was two more trips to the free-throw line for Jokic, including one with 1:32 to play in which Jokic put the Nuggets ahead by six points and, essentially, sealed the game for Denver.

Warriors reporter Marcus Thompson posted on Twitter/X that Steve Kerr was “livid” over the call.

Kerr is LIVID at the last foul Jokić just drew. He’s flailing his arms while talking to the ref at the scorer’s table,” he wrote.

Steve Kerr: NBA Has ‘Legislated Defense Out of the Game’

In all, six different Warriors were called for fouls on Jokic, including rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis three times. Andrew Wiggins got his twice with fouls calls and there was one each for Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney, Steph Curry and Dario Saric.

Kerr made some Warriors news when he unloaded afterward.

“If I were a fan, I wouldn’t have wanted to watch the second half of that game,” Kerr said. “It was disgusting. It was just, you know, just baiting refs into calls, but the refs have to make those calls because that’s how they’re taught. So I have a real problem with the way we’ve legislated defense out of the game in this league.

“The players are really smart in this league. For over the last decade or so, they’ve gotten smarter and smarter and they’re just—we have enabled the players, and they are taking full advantage and it’s a parade to the free throw line. And it’s disgusting to watch.”

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