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Around the NBA - Coaches Edition: Steve Kerr Lets Golden State Warriors Coach Themselves, Gregg Popovich Speaks Out on Race
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13 Feb 2018 01:49 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Golden State Warrior Draymond Green draws up play during timeout. (Image Source: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

Let’s go around the NBA:

Kerr Hands Over Clipboard

With teams, especially those already with an eye towards the postseason, looking to keep themselves motivated heading into the All-Star Break, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided to lighten his load.

On Monday, Kerr allowed the players to coach themselves.

It started with Andre Iguodala holding the clipboard and facing a huddle of teammates that included Kevin Durant and Steph Curry. We later saw Draymond Green take his turn coaching his fellow Warriors up during the game.

"It's their team,” Kerr said of his decision. “They have to take ownership of it. As coaches our job is to nudge them, guide them, we don't control them. They determine their own fate. I don't feel we've focused well at all the last month and it just seemed like the right thing to do."

It was a fun, novel idea by Kerr and it worked as the Warriors beat the Phoenix Suns 129-83.

Of course, not everyone viewed Kerr’s tactic in the same light.

"It's disrespectful," guard Troy Daniels said when speaking to the media following the game. "I don't think it's hard to coach those guys, though. So, I think anybody can do it."

He wasn’t the only one who viewed it as disrespectful to the Suns.

"It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don't deserve respect," Jared Dudley said to ESPN.com. "When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won't respect you. But it's up to us to change that."

At least Dudley took some ownership and it’s fair to assume that Kerr wouldn’t have handed the clipboard to his players against say, the San Antonio Spurs or the Houston Rockets. But, it’s not his job to coach the Suns.

Popovich Comments on Black History Month

February is Black History Month in the United States and it’s no secret that the NBA is the country’s blackest league. On Monday night, head man Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs gave his thoughts on race and the NBA.  

"I think it's pretty obvious," Popovich said. "The league is made up of a lot of black guys. To honor that and understand it is pretty simplistic. How would you ignore that? But more importantly, we live in a racist country that hasn't figured it out yet. And it's always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people. The point is, you have to keep it in front of everybody's nose so they understand it still hasn't been taken care of and we have a lot of work to do."

Those were very pointed words and Popovich has never been one to shy away from making a controversial statement.

I for one appreciate Popovich’s candid and thoughtful comments on the current state of the nation. I’m sure many critics would love to paint the championship coach as anti-American, but it should be noted that Popovich is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and he served five years of active duty.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.

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