While taking time to discuss the Golden State Warriors’ 113-105 win on Sunday over the Los Angeles Clippers, head coach Steve Kerr also discussed Russell Westbrook’s controversial “next question” response and its ramifications for the NBA.
“I think it’s dangerous for the league,” Kerr told reporters via The Athletic.
Westbrook uttered the response after a Game 3 win over the Portland Trail Blazers when responding to a question from a local beat reporter. Paul George used the phrase on the question following.
‘I don’t think this is a healthy dynamic’
Kerr added, “I just feel that we have to be very careful as a league ... Fans love the game, the social dynamic, the fashion. But more than anything they love the connection they feel to the players. I think it’s important for the players to understand that it’s a key dynamic to this league. I don’t think this is a healthy dynamic, for this league, for any player, any team, any local media, any national media.”
Kerr would know about the media dynamic given his previous role as a basketball analyst. Rather, instead of providing no answer, Kerr believes players should give at least a response to questions.
He added, “You’ve got to feed information to the fans. You don’t have to give a great answer, but it’s dangerous when you go down that path of no communication because one of the reasons people like the league right now is we have a lot of great players, really good guys who handle themselves well. So don’t kill that.”
The media ‘shouldn’t give in’
Meanwhile, Berry Tramel, the reporter whom Westbrook did not answer, noted in an early April column that he will continue to ask Westbrook questions.
“I keep asking, with no hope of getting an answer, because the media shouldn’t give in to Westbrook’s desire to control everything,” Tramel wrote in the column.
Tramel said that he did not want to be at war with Westbrook, but will not give in. “So I’ll keep asking questions, because he’s giving me no other choice,” Tramel wrote in his closing lines.
Continuing to discuss the matter, Kerr noted that tension between media and players is nothing new, but players need to understand that media access drives revenue.
“I don’t think this is brand new, but we’re in an era where there’s 24/7 access, and that access is what’s driven revenue so much and players need to remember that,“ Kerr added.
The Thunder have not taken any action regarding Westbrook as he did not break any rules with his response.
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