Dudley also said it’s up to the Suns, who lost by 46 points, to make opposing teams respect them
Steve Kerr gave himself a night off on Monday.
Well, OK, he was still at the Warriors’ game against the Suns, but he wasn’t doing much work — at least not during the game. Kerr let the Warriors coach themselves against Phoenix, with Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala leading huddles during timeouts.
It certainly didn’t cause any problems for the Dubs, who cruised to a 46-point victory. Kerr said he decided to let the players do this because they had been losing focus in recent weeks.
Kerr’s decision was certainly a unique one, and he was simply trying to help his team. However, the Suns’ Jared Dudley saw the stunt as a sign of disrespect. Dudley also noted, though, that it’s on the Suns to make sure teams do respect them.
Jared Dudley to ESPN on Steve Kerr allowing his players to coach. “It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don’t deserve respect. When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 13, 2018
For what it’s worth, Suns coach Jay Triano said he had no problem with the decision, and Kerr elaborated on his reasoning after the game.
“It had nothing to do with me being disrespectful,” Kerr said. “It had to do with me trying to reach my team. I have not reached them for the last month. They’re tired of my voice. I’m tired of my voice. It’s been a long haul these last three years. I wasn’t reading them and we thought it was a probably a good night to pull a trick out of the hat and do something different.”
It’s understandable that Dudley would feel this was a little disrespectful, as it’s unlikely Kerr would have let the players coach against, say, the Rockets or the Spurs. Kerr likely felt comfortable that the Warriors would beat the Suns easily no matter what on Monday, so decided it was a good time to use this tactic.