Suns' Dudley says Warriors letting players coach 'a lack of respect'

Instead of leading timeouts during Golden State's 129-83 blowout win at Phoenix on Monday night, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr decided to let his players handle the huddles during in-game breaks on the sideline.

Presumably already upset over losing at home by 46 points, veteran Suns forward Jared Dudley admitted his displeasure to ESPN afterward.

"It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now, we don't deserve respect," Dudley said. "When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won't respect you. But it's up to us to change that."

For his part, Kerr explained his reasoning to reporters afterward, saying he was trying to jolt a team on cruise control in the middle of an 82-game season.

"It's their team. They have to take ownership of it," Kerr said. "As coaches our job is to nudge them, guide them, we don't control them. They determine their own fate. I don't feel we've focused well at all the last month and it just seemed like the right thing to do."

Per AZ Central, Kerr said afterward that he spoke with Suns interim coach Jay Triano to ease any concerns.

"I told Jay that people may make a big deal of it and it had nothing to do with being disrespectful," Kerr said. "It had everything to do with me trying to reach my team. I haven't been able to reach them the last month. They are tired of my voice and I'm tired of my voice."

Triano apparently was fine with Kerr's rationale.

"No disrespect," Triano said. "He was just trying to bring his team together and rightfully so. ... Whatever coach you are, you have to do what you have to do to build your team up. If he thinks that helps them I tip my hat."

One player who was not pleased after the game was Suns guard Troy Daniels, who called the situation "disrespectful" and added, "I don't think it's hard to coach those guys, though. So I think anybody can do it."

Kerr won seven NBA titles as a player, including three with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s under coach Phil Jackson, known for unusual coaching tactics like refusing to call timeouts during cold stretches to force his players to play through tough times.

The Suns will not play the Warriors again until March 17 in the second of four meetings between the teams this season.

--Field Level Media

02/13/2018 19:12

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