Steve Kerr, Kevin Durant Drama Explained as Warriors Coach Lashes Out

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has dismissed rumors of a feud between him and Kevin Durant as "terribly unfair" and "damaging," insisting the comments he made on a podcast earlier this week had been taken out of context.

During an appearance on The Ringer's Real Ones podcast with Logan Murdock and former NBA player Raja Bell on Monday, Kerr reflected on Golden State's fall from grace last year.

After winning three championships in five seasons, the Warriors went 15-50 last year, their worst record in win percentage terms since the 2001-02 season.

Kerr, however, revealed he had enjoyed coaching his team more than he had done in the previous season, when Golden State went 57-25 and reached a fifth consecutive NBA Finals.

"Even though we went to The Finals, it was difficult," Kerr said. "I enjoyed last season, when we had the worst record in the league, more than I enjoyed that last season when we went to The Finals because we had young guys last year who were trying every day, working hard, we had a great energy, great spirit, great camaraderie."

Following his appearance on the podcast, Kerr's comments widely circulated on social media. NBC Sports Bay Area's Drew Shiller was among those sharing the remarks, prompting a response from Durant.

"This is hilarious," the two-time NBA Finals MVP replied to the tweet, suggesting he did not share his former coach's alleged view.

This is hilarious

— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) March 22, 2021

Kerr, however, set the record straight during his pre-game availability on Monday night.

"I want to make this extremely clear: If you want to actually get the story accurate, I encourage you to listen to the podcast before we sort of take this story into offshoots and use that as my quote, because that is the furthest thing from the truth," he said.

"It was a terribly unfair shot, completely taking something out of context to the point where people are going to read it and think that that was my quote."

Steve Kerr, unprompted, brings up a podcast comment of his that went viral today involving KD's final season compared to last season. Said he is "angry" about the way it was contextualized.

Part 2 pic.twitter.com/GjECpdORg6

— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 23, 2021

The Warriors head coach then elaborated further, suggesting his comments were taken out of context and would provide an unnecessary distraction to him and his team.

"To take that comment and put it into a tweet and send it out into the universe was so irresponsible and damaging, and I'm angry," he added.

"And I know what's going to happen. I know this is going to be taken out onto the morning shows and people are going to be talking about it, and they're going to use what they think is a quote that is actually something that is completely made up. I'm not happy. I think it's wrong."

He then shot down the suggestion he had issues with Durant during his final season with the Warriors and that there was any lingering bitterness after the two-time NBA champion left as a free agent.

"Kevin is celebrated here, you guys all know that," Kerr added. "Had an amazing run, we absolutely wish him well, and we've done that from the start. And that's why I'm so angry about this."

Durant won back-to-back titles with the Warriors after joining them as a free agent in 2016, but his third season in the Bay Area was dominated by speculation over his future.

After missing nine playoff games, Durant's return in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals lasted 12 minutes before he ruptured his Achilles in what would prove to be his final appearance for the Warriors.

The second overall pick of the 2007 draft signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Nets a month later, but was sidelined for the entirety of last season as he recovered from his injury.

Without Durant and with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both nursing long-term injuries, the Warriors stumbled to their worst record in almost two decades and missed the playoffs for the first time since Kerr was appointed head coach in 2014.

"And that last year was tough, it really was tough—the last year when we lost to Toronto in The Finals," Kerr said during his appearance on the Real Ones.

"There was just a lot going on that you guys [...] some that you know about, some that you don't, and that was very difficult. Every year is unique and you try to enjoy each one for what it is."

Steve Kerr and Kevin Durant
Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, talks with Kevin Durant #35 during the game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on December 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images