LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – For all of the excitement and buzz over an unprecedented free agency period, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is one very concerned NBA citizen.
Speaking on “The Warrior Podcast” posted Wednesday on the bay area affiliate of NBCSports.com, the three-time NBA champion head coach called out transactions sparked by star players – like Anthony Davis maneuvering his way from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers – as “bad for the league” and “a real problem.”
“I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation,” Kerr said. “Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave.’ That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.
“When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.”
Davis had initially demanded a trade from the Pelicans with over a full season remaining on his existing contract, and although New Orleans did not immediately cave to his in-season request, this offseason Davis got his wish when he was dealt to L.A.
Kerr has an issue with Davis’ approach, while still under contract, as opposed to stars who have played out their contracts first before switching teams.
“What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did, both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That’s how it should be done,” Kerr said.
“But it’s a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s damaging for everybody.”
Earlier in July, commissioner Adam Silver publicly commented in his annual summer league news conference in Las Vegas that the manner in which many free-agent deals seem to be happening well ahead of rules prohibiting contact between agents, players and teams.
“My job is to enforce a fair set of rules for all our teams and a set of rules that are clear and make sense for everyone,” said Silver. “I think right now we’re not quite there.”