The Golden State Warriors have been in a bit of a funk since Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury. The Dubs are 3-5 in their last eight and needed a huge fourth quarter to sneak by the lowly Sixers on Tuesday night. The problems could be racked up to KD’s injury, fatigue—Golden State has played and won a ton of games over the past three seasons—or a combination of both.
During an episode of ESPN’ TrueHoop podcast, Warriors beat writer Ethan Strauss suggested that the problems are deeper than that and an unnamed Warriors player has told him “we’ve got problems and it ain’t basketball.”
“Is this malaise of theirs about not feeling motivated, not thinking they have something to play for,” said Strauss on the True Hoop Pod. “Is it just being tired? There’s one guy in particular on the team that keeps saying the same thing to me, and I can’t say who he is, but he keeps saying ‘We’ve got problems and it ain’t basketball.'”
Strauss also wondered if the absence of Luke Walton on the bench has anything to do with the team’s slump and change in attitude from last season:
“The Luke Walton question is an interesting one. I think what happened with Luke Walton in some ways speaks to some of the issues this team has where his success undermined Kerr’s authority,” said Strauss. “They played the best basketball they ever had when Kerr was not coaching the team, when Luke was letting them do a lot of what they really wanted and Draymond (Green) was essentially player-coach and that has ratcheted up the tension, I believe, between those two figures. And so it’s so hard to say. Is it because they miss Luke Walton? Or Luke Walton’s presence on the team and the success that came with it came to haunt them in some way.”