Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and coach Steve Kerr react after a missed shot in the team's season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles (AFP) - Golden State coach Steve Kerr acknowledged Friday that the 2022-23 iteration of the Warriors “is not a championship team,” but he believes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green can still form the core of one.
Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers ended the defending champion Warriors’ season with a 122-101 victory in game six of their Western Conference semi-final series, Kerr insisted that the star trio are not done yet.
“I think it’s probably too raw right now for me to think about,” Kerr said when asked about possible future moves for a franchise that won four titles in the past eight seasons, reaching the NBA Finals six times.
“The thing I will say is that Draymond, Klay, Steph, our core guys, they’ve got plenty left to offer. There’s still plenty in the tank.
“I thought they all had great seasons and may not have ended on a high note, but all three guys are still high level players and I still feel like this team has championship potential.
“We didn’t get there this year, but it’s not like this is the end of the road.”
Things started going wrong for the Warriors as early as October when a video surfaced of Green punching teammate Jordan Poole in a pre-season practice.
Kerr called it a crisis, and it may have carried over as the Warriors got off to a rough start that included losing their first eight away games of the season.
The Warriors’ road struggles and their slumping defense saw them fighting for playoff position in the West. They needed seven games to subdue the inexperienced Sacramento Kings in the first round.
“To be honest, I think this team finally maxed out,” Kerr said. “This is not a championship team. If we were, we’d be moving on.”
While Kerr was not ready to sound the death knell of a dynasty – one that had not lost a Western Conference playoff series since he took the helm in 2014, he said this time, at least, the Lakers were just better.
“I feel sad for our team, for our players. At the same time, very realistic – the better team won,” he said.
“There’s no regrets, but losing sucks.”