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SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr walked onto the Chase Center podium about 20 minutes after Wednesday’s 104-90 win over the Bulls with a bandage along the side of his right palm.
The bandaid covered the wound caused by a clipboard he broke in the second half, marking another example of the coach’s historically fiery personality.
“I’m allotted two [broken clipboards] a year,” Kerr joked Wednesday evening. “I’m day-to-day. No stitches.”
While the exact moment of the damage is unclear, the cut came during a timeout in the second half. After building an nine-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Bulls went on a 6-0 run to cut the Warriors lead to three. In the second half, Golden State committed 12 of its game-high 21 turnovers, much to Kerr’s dismay.
“We just had a stretch there where we were very careless, particularly with transition defense and we let them sneak behind us for layups,” Kerr said. “Those are cardinal sins.”
In response to the bad play, Kerr broke the clipboard, then drew up a play without any medical attention, leading blood to gush over his replacement clipboard, amusing his players.
“He was animated but he kept going, blood on the clipboard,” Warriors forward Omari Spellman said. “I was completely confused. He’s actively writing on the clipboard.”
Steve Kerr broke a clipboard during tonight’s win. He joked postgame he’s allotted two of these a year. A clipboard shard cut his hand, but he’s okay. “No stitches” he said. pic.twitter.com/IJGPSz0PnM
— Kerith Burke (@KerithBurke) November 28, 2019
The wreckage Kerr’s actions were apparent following the Warriors’ fourth win of the season. In addition to the bandage, Kerr had a blood streak along the side of his pant leg during his postgame availability.
Clipboard abuse isn’t new for Kerr. During Game 1 of the 2016 NBA Finals, he broke a clipboard in a coach’s huddle following a defensive lapse from his team. Nine months ago, in the final minutes of a regular-season loss to Portland, he threw a clipboard to the ground in protest of a call against forward Draymond Green, leading to the coach’s ejection.
Kerr’s latest bout with the greaseboard comes as he is adjusting to coaching a new type of team. No longer the favorites to win the NBA title, injuries to key players have plummeted the Warriors’ hopes for a postseason berth. Despite the win, the Warriors remained the league’s worst team with just four wins.
Worse — after losing the previous two games by a combined seven points — Kerr criticized his own coaching down the stretch of games, including Monday’s loss to the Thunder, when the team surrendered a 25-5 in the final minutes of the game, adding to Kerr’s frustration Wednesday evening.
“We were 3-15 coming into the game so every play matters,” Kerr said. “Every possession matters and you got to fight for everything.”
Following the outburst, Golden State responded, outscoring the Bulls 26-17 over the final 12 minutes, taking a 17-point lead in the final two minutes to seal its fourth win of the season.
“I thought our guys fought down the stretch and deserved to feel good about the game,” Kerr admitted.
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As for the players, Kerr’s outburst was seen as a positive action by Golden State’s young locker room.
“I love it,” Warriors rookie forward Eric Paschall said. “A coach like that cares, he wants to win. I feel like we responded correctly tonight and played well tonight.
“My man’s emotional. You’re in the heat of the moment, you want to win the game. So that’s all that really was. We responded and I feel like we did a good job.”