Steve Kerr Talks Warriors' 'Rebirth,' Renewed Energy After 2 Down Years

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stands on the sidelines during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis

No team wants to miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, but Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the gap allowed a "rebirth" of energy within the organization. 

"I think the value is that there’s a rebirth," Kerr told Sam Amick of The Athletic. "There’s a kind of an energy that exists now that, frankly, we didn’t have the last year we went to the Finals because it was so exhausting—that whole five-year run. So that final year, we were running on fumes. When you go in the tank like we did the last couple of years, and you’re struggling and trying to find your way and then you find it again, the energy naturally returns because you’re just so happy to be winning again."

The Warriors are off to an 18-3 start, tied with the Phoenix Suns for the best record in the NBA.

Injuries ravaged the Warriors roster the previous two seasons, with Klay Thompson missing all of both campaigns and Stephen Curry being limited to five games in 2019-20. Those years proved to be pivotal building blocks, with Jordan Poole and Damion Lee emerging as rotation pieces while Andrew Wiggins seemingly settled into a comfortable NBA role.

Draymond Green recently admitted he lost his love for the game but has recaptured it this season.

"I've just kind of found that love again," Green told reporters last month. "Kind of go through a lot of s--t and the love kind of wanes a little bit. But I've just found that love and joy for the game, and I'm just enjoying playing basketball and controlling what I can control. A point of emphasis for myself this year was simply to control what I could control. That means on the court, that means with the referees, that means off the floor—that's just a step in my life, and I think it shows on the basketball court."

The Warriors have played stellar basketball on both ends during their hot start, ranking third in the NBA in offensive efficiency and leading the league in defensive efficiency. They've managed to do this all without Thompson, who was only recently cleared for full basketball activities. 

It may have taken them longer than they hoped, but the Warriors appear ready to compete for an NBA championship again after Kevin Durant's departure.