Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr took time to respond to three fans who were left disappointed by his decision to rest his regulars at Denver on Friday.
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Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala were amongst those rested in the 114-103 loss to the Nuggets, and one of the emails that Kerr received was from a family that had travelled from South Dakota to the Mile High City to see their favourite stars in action.
Golden State bounced back from that loss by battering the New York Knicks on Saturday night, but Kerr conceded that it was a difficult situation for him as there are two sides to the story.
On one hand, he must decide what is best for his team over the course of a long season and with the playoffs fast approaching. However, he admitted that they also have a duty to provide the best product for fans, particularly ones that have to or choose to travel long distances to watch games.
“I heard from some fans. I received a few emails, stories about driving in from a long distance off and spending a lot of money on tickets,” Kerr said, ESPN reports.
“I have great sympathy for those people. I really do. It’s a tricky one. It’s something that I think Adam Silver is trying to address through the scheduling shuffling that he’s talking about.
“It’s real important, because our fans deserve to see the best product out there. If somebody spends a lot of money, they deserve to see the best players, the guy that they came to see. On the other hand, as coaches we have to do what’s best to prepare our teams for a really long year.”
The game against the Knicks was the Warriors’ fifth game in seven days, with two road games included, but Kerr hasn’t heard from the league about his decision which has earned franchises a fine in the past.
Kerr is in favour of a schedule change which would involve starting the season around 10 to 12 days earlier which would in turn relieve some of the pressure in a compact regular season schedule.
However, while it was undoubtedly frustrating for the fans concerned, it is difficult to blame a coach taking the best decision for a team that is hoping to make a deep post-season run this year.