Kerr explained that he feels bad for fans that bought tickets to see the stars play, adding that he will continue to advocate for a shorter season.
Steve Kerr on the Warriors sitting their big names in Cleveland tonight
“I feel terrible for fans who bought a ticket expecting to see someone play. It’s a brutal part of the business. It’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons.”
Full soundbite pic.twitter.com/P0ZGbv1DNE
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 20, 2023
The Warriors played the Boston Celtics on Thursday night in Boston, losing that game in overtime. With the team playing in Cleveland the next night, Kerr sat his star veterans, and the Warriors were still able to get a win over Cleveland.
Even though Golden State won the game, Kerr was bashed on Twitter for sitting his players, with some folks arguing that fans who attended should be refunded.
Nah playing B2Bs isn’t a new thing. Resting all the starters is soft asf
— Wough (@reccesso) January 20, 2023
What a disgrace. So ALL of them can play in Boston, but 24 hours later not ONE of your “stars” can play in Cleveland? The NBA should refund those tickets.
— J Naughton (@jnaught1) January 21, 2023
— Wicked Average Sports (@WickedAvgSports) January 21, 2023
While it makes sense that fans want to see the best players on the floor, the Warriors did still play to win on Friday night. The frustration would be more understandable from all angles had Golden State mailed in the game, but the Warriors didn’t even need their stars to beat the Cavs.
Obviously, it is frustrating for fans when they don’t get to see players like Curry live in action, but resting players has become a strategy that teams use to stay healthy for the long haul.
Some Cleveland fans were not happy to see the Warriors resting Steph Curry and the rest of the starters
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) January 21, 2023
Golden State won the NBA Finals last season, so there are a few extra miles on their players’ legs this season.
While Kerr seems to think a 72-game season could help the issue, some fans still believe that he would sit players anyway.
He will still rest players with 72 games https://t.co/9aBe3J1pHw
— Thane Widmer (@TeNN33) January 21, 2023
He's clueless. Back to backs have been part of the NBA for decades, it doesn't mean it you HAVE to rest your best players. The NBA is more unwatchable now than it's ever been https://t.co/fXYC67kmJv
— Jacob Baker (@LmuJake87) January 21, 2023
72 games is not the solution, I bet that with less games still a LOT of players will be in load management. Is about mentality, Jordan go out every night because he respect the fans that pay money to see him, he understood the privilege and responsibility of the game https://t.co/D1JjKCU1zO
— Aldo Chavez (@aldo_chavez) January 21, 2023
There are certainly two sides to this situation, as Kerr is trying to make sure his veterans are fresh and ready to go for another deep playoff run.
If the NBA were to cut down the number of games per season to reduce back-to-backs, it may be easier for players to play a few times on consecutive nights throughout the season.
A player like Thompson, who has suffered two season-ending injuries in recent years, is certainly better off not pushing his body to the point where he may get hurt.
If players end up getting injured, then fans won’t be able to see them play anyway. It’s a tricky situation to please everyone, but the Warriors at least gave Cavs fans an entertaining game to watch on Friday.
The Cavs and Warriors won’t face off again in the 2022-23 regular season, but they could meet in the NBA Finals if the stars align in the playoffs.