Steve Kerr: ‘Has Anyone Ever Thought Donald Trump was a Great Leader?’

Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors shouts to his team during their game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 19, 2017

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr hasn’t been able to do much coaching recently while he recovers from back issues. However, the break from coaching has given him more time to do what he seems to enjoy doing most…talking about Donald Trump.

In response to a question from Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Ballard about whether or not an NBA coach could succeed with a Trump-ian approach, Kerr drew a distinction between the Bobby Knight era of coaching and today. He then worked in a comparison between Knight and President Trump, referring to Trump as “ill-suited” and a “blowhard”:

I think it probably could have worked twenty or thirty years ago. Think about Bobby Knight. My personal opinion is Bobby Knight’s way smarter than Donald Trump. Bobby Knight was brilliant in a lot of ways. So there was some real foundation in terms of knowing and coaching the game. But he was a bully, so… I think being a bully doesn’t work today, or at least it doesn’t work coaching. The modern coach has to be much more communicative, flexible, aware, conscientious, all those things.

Frankly, I think it’s why Trump couldn’t be more ill-suited to be president, because he’s a blowhard. You don’t see some of the qualities you talk about, the resilience, the ability to communicate, the compassion. None of that. But in the old days, a lot of great coaches who maybe didn’t have those, there was still a fiber there, whatever it was. To be a great leader, there have to be some qualities in there.

Has anyone ever thought that Donald Trump was a great leader?

First, there’s a flaw in the question of whether or not a bullying coach could succeed in the NBA. It’s common knowledge that college coaches can get away with far more “bullying” than NBA coaches can. In college, players know full well that their coaches have the power to giveth, and taketh, when it comes to their scholarships. In other words, players are completely at the mercy of their coaches. Therefore, coaches can bully, intimidate, and pretty much do whatever they want within reason, since they’re in full control.

In the NBA, coaches have to always remember that their players will have the right to abandon them and walk away after only a few years. So there are limits to how stern they can become.

If bullying is a “Trump-ian” character trait, and that of course is highly debatable, then by definition it would play a lot better in college as opposed to the NBA.

The other weird thing about this is Kerr drawing an analogy to Bobby Knight. Ballard specifically asked if a bullying coach could have success in the NBA. Bobby Knight never coached in the NBA. So why draw that analogy, since we have no idea how he would have done in the NBA?

Steve Kerr hasn’t coached since Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs. For America’s sake, let’s hope he gets to coach again soon. His Trump takes are getting real old.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn


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