Steve Kerr

Kerr reveals 2015 playoff moment that changed coaching outlook

Steve Kerr isn't afraid of a little change, and he described the exact moment when he fully realized that.

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​Sometimes, change is good.

Other times, as Warriors coach Steve Kerr learned early on in his NBA coaching career, it's necessary. With his ninth season as head coach under wraps, Kerr recently revealed why he has been so comfortable making big adjustments during some of the most high-intensity situations.

“When I think back to 2015, the biggest move we made was in the second round when we were playing Memphis and we were down 2-1,” Kerr explained on “The Draymond Green Show,” which was published Monday. “And [assistant coach] Ron Adams suggested that we put Andrew Bogut on Tony Allen in Memphis. And they were just controlling the tempo. And I remember we were on the plane when he said it and I remember thinking, ‘Why would we do that? That seems crazy.’ 

“So the more we watched film, the more I could picture it. And then we did it and it was like magic. It was like, ‘Oh my god,’ this changed everything. And that was my first experience as a coach where I realized one matchup change, just one move, can change a series dramatically.

"I didn’t really know it at the time, but because we had such a great staff and a veteran group with Alvin Gentry and Ron, those guys had been through it before so they taught me. So from then on, it was like, ‘OK, now I get it.’ You can really make a shift with some subtle moves.” 

That one move played a massive part in the Warriors winning their first NBA title in 40 years. 

Eight seasons later, as the Miami Heat and Denver Nuggets face off on the biggest stage in basketball, Green noticed an adjustment made by longtime Heat coach Erik Spoelstra in Game 2 of the 2023 NBA Finals. Miami went with Kevin Love in the starting five over Caleb Martin -- a change from its Game 1 loss to an eventual Game 2 win in Denver.  

The move ended up working out for the Heat, as they were able to even the best-of-seven series as it heads back to South Beach for Games 3 and 4. Spoelstra could've kept it safe, especially in an environment as intense as the Finals, but he opted to make a change and it could end up being the difference-maker in the series. 

RELATED: Dray lauds Myers, Kerr for dealing with 'self-inflicted' wounds

Like Spoelstra, Kerr is one of the best coaches in today's NBA. 

Neither is afraid of change, and it's proven to lead to success plenty of times. 

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