Steve Kerr is all for players teaming up with one another in free agency and trying to build powerhouses together, but the Golden State Warriors coach does not think wanting to win championships is an excuse for not honoring a contract.
In the latest edition of “The Warriors Insider ” podcast, Kerr said he will always “lean toward player empowerment” as a former player, but he thinks what happened between Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans is a problem for the NBA.
“(When) a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave,’ that’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with,” Kerr said, as transcribed by Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. “When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then (once the contract runs out) it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.”
Kerr said he has no problem with a player and a team coming to an agreement that it would be best to part ways, but he obviously disapproves of the way Davis forced the Pelicans’ hand by publicly demanding to be moved. He described it as “groundbreaking” and “bad for the league.”
The same principles could apply to Paul George, though the Oklahoma City Thunder may have been a lot willing to accommodate his trade request than the Pelicans were with Davis.
Kerr can’t speak out against superteams the way some former star players have, because Kevin Durant joining an already-loaded Warriors team helped the coach win two more championships. Still, you can understand his point about Davis. Players basically don’t have to honor their contracts if they become enough of a headache, and the willingness of more and more superstars to go that route is a concern for the NBA.