- Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said coaches around the NBA steal plays from each other.
- Kerr described several instances when he was discussing a play with another coach only to realise they had stolen the play from someone else.
- Kerr said it’s commonly accepted and “really fun” to do.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has not drawn up any of his own plays when the team is inbounding the ball.
Kerr was a guest on “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” and explained that instead of designing plays from scratch, he steals his material for those specific plays from other coaches. According to Kerr, stealing plays is a common practice in the NBA.
“I steal everything,” Kerr said of inbounds plays. “And most coaches would tell you the same. What you end up doing is you steal something, and then you end up tweaking it for your own personnel.”
Kerr told Simmons that he’s taken plays from coaches like Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs, Brad Stevens with the Boston Celtics, to college teams who have run sets he’s liked. Though Kerr didn’t specify the exact types of plays he was referring to, presumably, he has drawn up his own original plays, too.
Kerr told an amusing anecdote about talking to Stevens about a play the Warriors and Celtics both run when Stevens let on that he got it from the Spurs.
“I ran a play late in a game one time, and I was talking to Brad about it,” Kerr said. “And we were talking about this game … I said, ‘Yeah, so we ran that play late,’ and he said, ‘Oh, Kawhi?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, we ran Kawhi,’ because Pop runs it for [Spurs forward] Kawhi [Leonard]. And that’s how Brad remembers plays is he calls them ‘Pop’ or ‘Kawhi’ or whatever.”
Before Kerr became the head coach of the Warriors, he created a video file of plays that he saw from other coaches that he knew he wanted to install when he eventually became a coach. Now, he said, he uses a program called Sportscode to collect plays that all other coaches use.
Kerr also recalled taking a play from current Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg when he was the head coach of Iowa State University. A year later, when Hoiberg became an NBA head coach he asked Kerr about it and Kerr told him it was a great play and he nicknamed it “cyclone.” When he asked Hoiberg what he called the play, Hoiberg said he called it “cougar” because he had stolen it from the BYU Cougars.
“There’s this understanding in the league that you just steal stuff and adapt it and you modify it,” Kerr said. “It’s really fun.”
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