There are five stages of grief and loss. The first being denial and isolation. For Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, that came when he locked himself in the coaching room following his team’s first regular season home loss since last January.
The loss itself came against the Boston Celtics Friday night, breaking Golden State’s 54-game regular season home winning streak.
The second stage is anger, something Kerr himself was showing on the bench even before the loss came official.
The third stage is bargaining. “It’s not as big of a deal as most might conclude,” some will say during this process.
Kerr clearly is at that stage the day after his team’s eighth loss of the season:
Steve Kerr: "People break records. Championships last forever."
— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) April 2, 2016
It’s pretty shocking that a NBA team losing an otherwise meaningless regular season game is such big news.
But these Warriors have been big news makers throughout Kerr’s near two-year long tenure as the team’s head coach.
By virtue of Friday’s loss to Boston, the Warriors need to win five of their final six games to break the Chicago Bulls single-season record for wins. A win on Friday, and that record likely would have been inevitable.
It’s now going to take some pretty strong play from the defending champs to break that 72-win barrier, especially with two games remaining against the San Antonio Spurs.
If Kerr does in fact believe what he’s saying publicly, maybe it’s time for him to give his team a bit of a rest here soon. Golden State needs a combination of just two wins or two Spurs losses to clinch the top seed out west. That’s a mere formality at this point.
If the ultimate goal is to defend their championship, not win 73 regular season games (as Kerr suggests), the team might be better off giving what has to be a tired roster some rest before what promises to be a long postseason.
If that doesn’t happen, Kerr might eventually reach the final two stages of grief and loss — depression and acceptance.