Kerr sees ‘tremendous value’ in Curry, Thompson, Green being Warriors for life

SAN FRANCISCO — In 1998, Steve Kerr was one of the several Chicago Bulls who left the franchise after winning the team’s sixth title.

“There was a documentary about what a disaster the whole thing was, you guys might want to watch it,” Kerr quipped Thursday.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Kerr won the 1998 NBA Championship and never played for the Bulls again. Their Last Dance ended the greatest dynasty in modern NBA history.

With the Warriors, Kerr will see a completely different end to another dynasty. The Warriors, winners of four titles in the past decade with Kerr as head coach, won their cherry-on-top championship in 2022. They have no plans in an abrupt ending, no: the team intends to let Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson ride off into the sunset together. Especially if Kerr has his way.

“I do think there’s tremendous value in the three of them being Warriors for life,” Kerr said. “It matters that Kobe (Bryant) was a Laker for life. That’s meaningful to the Laker franchise. I think it would be incredible if these three guys could play their whole careers here. That’s meaningful. It matters to our fans, it matters to our franchise. So I hope it happens.”

The Warriors were the 10th best team in the Western Conference this year and got eliminated in the play-in round. Keeping the championship core intact is expensive and tricky; if they’re not the three best players, it’ll be difficult to build a championship contender around them.

Curry, Green and Kerr — who got a record extension during the season — are under contract through at least 2026. If the Warriors bring Thompson back, as they publicly desire, his deal will likely align with them for the next two seasons.

Curry will be on an All-NBA team this year. Green, despite volatile, violent behavior that cost him a quarter of the season, is still one of the best defenders in the league. Thompson finished fourth in the NBA in 3-point makes and was amenable to the kind of bench role the Warriors will want him in the future.

“I think that would be a hard, a really hard dilemma if they weren’t still good players,” Kerr said. “That’s where it’s like is this just a legacy thing or are we just, you know, keeping them around because of what they have built? I don’t think that’s the case at all. Now, clearly they’re not going to be as productive and as durable as they were five, six years ago, but we have to figure out what that means.”

In 1998, the Bulls had clearly had enough of each other. There aren’t strong indications that’s the case with the Warriors’ core.

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