Steve Kerr: Today’s NBA Players Lacking In The Very Basics Of The Game

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr showed his displeasure with what he perceives as a lack of fundamentals in the NBA today.

CBS Sports reports the head coach expressed his displeasure after the Warriors’ 126-114 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, where his team was outrebounded 57-34. 

“This is the modern NBA; guys don’t box out. It’s just the way it is,” Kerr said, via ESPN. “Every night on League Pass, I see the same thing. Players let guys come in from the weak side, and they think, ‘I’ll just get the rebound.’ It’s a disease that’s rampant in the NBA. The problem is, if you’re a real small team like us, then it’s going to hurt you more than it will hurt other teams.”

Kerr said the lack of fundamentals is a direct result of the lack of experience and a lack of discipline. 

“Most of these guys didn’t have a high school and college coach yelling at them for a combined eight straight years,” Kerr said, per CBS Sports. “It’s a different world today. And players grow up in a different way in terms of their basketball background. The detail is often the thing that is lacking.”  

Although Kerr made it clear his concerns aren’t related to the players’ skills, he said somewhere along the way the fundamentals took a backseat to the skills, in his opinion.

“Players have never had more skill than they have today in my mind,” Kerr said. “I’m amazed by the skill level. But the little things, getting back in transition — every night on TV, I see teams let a guy run past them in transition for a layup,” he said. “We do it; every team does it. If you did that 25 years ago, your coach would take you out and he wouldn’t play you again. Now everybody does it, and as a coach, you can’t take everybody out. So there are certain parts of the game that are just different; players aren’t as locked in on those things. I think just because it’s a different time.”  

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


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  1. Thanks for the astute observation Steve. This is why I stopped watching the NBA 5-6 years ago. It is boring and the lack of fundamentals is disturbing. It all starts with AAU. It’s all dunking and shooting long 3’s, no one can consistently hit a 15 foot jumper or play help defense to save their lives.

  2. Hey Steve, you think? The NBA is nothing more than a dunk-fest for athletic freaks. It was barely watchable before the 24/7 woke racialism BS. Enjoy coaching in a dying league being watched by a shrinking base of leftists, you woke hack. You an that creep Popovich have had a big hand in the league’s demise.

  3. nobody gives a rats ass about your ridiculous regular season, because your players dont…thus your complaint about fundamentals go out the window…your commish is trash and your politics are trash, and you have contributed to the demise of your league… congrats youre a millionaire…

  4. NBA players are hypocrites. Your biggest star LeBron James targets a Columbus police officer who saved a black girl’s life but keeps his mouth shut about Uyghurs in Communist Chinese concentration camps.

    Your league deserves to die Kerr. You woke leftists deserve all the contempt you get from decent people all over the world.

  5. Don’t care about Kerr whining. He’s a lefty and the NBA is basically Chinese communist propaganda at this point. By the way…coaches can’t yell at the 13%ers playing anymore or else they are called racist.

  6. every sub generation of athletes is different and creates challenges for the previous sub generation.

    near the end of MJ’s Bulls career, he was challenged by Shaq and others, that took the game from MJ.

    Bird and Majic did this to Dr J.

    now we have passive athletes not challenging Lebron, who has sucked all the air out of the game. nobody seems to want to take away the spotlight from Lebron. its like the entire league owes LBJ something. now they wait until he retires.

    what modern pampered athlete is going to think ‘hey if i do things the right way, i could be the new King’. none.

    they are being pampered and paid to just dribble and shoot. nobody plays defense. its a pick up game every night.

  7. Years ago I rarely missed top NBA match up games. Today’s quality of play doesn’t come close to the MJ era. As many VIPs have stated in previous articles…the NBA is self destructing for numerous reasons. To name a few…bowing to China, LeBron’s race baiting, the embracement of BLM, lack of defense & fundamentals, and idiotic woke spew from coaches like Kerr and Pop. The NBA keeps feeding fans a shit sandwich and wonders why viewership is plummeting.

  8. That’s what’s made the NBA unwatchable for me from years ago. My heyday was the 80’s, 90’s. I loved the NBA then. The old Celtics, 76ers, Lakers, Pistons, Bulls, hell…even the Knicks. These were tough teams. Except for the Lakers (Showtime!) the rest of these Eastern Conference teams led the league style and that was: toughness, defense, followed by more toughness and more defense. The Pistons Bad Boys are the best known, but all of these teams were tough. 100 points? If anybody let in 100 points they were mocked, laughed at. Today? Hell, last week I heard a score of somewhere around 154-135 or so. That’s not competition. That’s an All-Star show. Flinging up 3 pointers is what the game has become. Clear lanes to drive, with no resistance. Man…back when the NBA was a competition, Lebron would have been put on the floor by Ricky Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer so many times, he would have given up driving, or he would have at least had to prove he could take it. Not today. Lebron’s world is simple. That’s why Dr. J did not even have him in his top ten list.

  9. If a white HS or no name college coach were to yell at his players for lack of boxing out, stopping the ball, etc., it would go viral and charges of “Ism” would fly.

  10. Yes Steve Kerr is the lack of parenting more by single parents and married trying to be there kids friend instead of parents. You are a part of this Steve Kerr with your liberal ideology and practices and now you talk about them having no discipline. Things want change until people like you do.

  11. You’re the coach, Steve. Say “this is how we’re going to do it”, and if they don’t, bench or get rid of them. It’s supposed to be structured team ball, not a playground pick up game. Then again, Kerr is prototypical modern woke leftist (as opposed to Phil Jackson, who was a strict, old school liberal). Kerr, an old white guy, doesn’t feel comfortable telling young black players how to play the game…it smacks of white supremacy in his woke mind. The days of white NBA coaches are almost over. But then, the league is dying in the US, so what does it matter?

  12. Coaches such as Kerr, Popovich, Van Gundy, Carlisle and several others have conditioned their players that they’re victims in this world and therefore can’t be expected to master anything on their own. Kerr in particular flies into a rage over social justice issues, most of which are based on crap statistics and race-grifter untruths. When Atlanta fired coach Lloyd Pierce, those coaches bemoaned that a guy who did so much to flip Georgia politically from red to blue had been terminated, more than any assessment of the job Pierce had done with the Hawks. So they’ve shown everyone — including their players — where their priorities lie.

    If Kerr and his ilk kept the focus on personal accountability, meritocracy and hard work, the essence of what sports are, maybe they’d get better results from their indulged players. Assume he’ll figure out before too long a way to blame Trump supporters and law-abiding gun owners for the failure of NBA players to learn and practice their fundamentals.

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