1. It’s very rare to see Steve Kerr get heated, unless it’s about politics.
The Warriors' coach is known as one of the more media-friendly people in sports, so to see him go out of his way to call out a reporter is surprising and noteworthy.
Kerr recently appeared on a podcast and said he enjoyed coaching last year’s 15–50 Golden State team more than the 57–25 team that lost in the NBA Finals the year before. Reporter Drew Shiller, who covers the team for NBC Sports Bay Area, tweeted that quote and cited Kevin Durant as the reason for Kerr’s feelings.
Kerr put the reporter on blast Monday at his press conference, saying, “To take that comment and put it into a tweet and send it out into the universe was so irresponsible and damaging and I’m angry.
"And I know what’s gonna happen. I know this is going to be taken out onto the morning shows and people are gonna be talking about it and they’re gonna use what they think is a quote that is actually something that is completely made up. I’m not happy. It’s wrong. Again, I try to be candid. I try to share everything so that our fans know what our team is going through, what I’m going through. We like to share our story. It’s a big part of promoting our team. This is concerning for me. It’s part of modern media maybe. It’s dead wrong and I’m upset about it.”
Naturally, Durant, who we know spends a lot of time on social media, caught wind of this entire thing.
If you listen to the podcast and Kerr’s comments in full context, you can understand why he’s mad. He cited multiple reasons for why last season was more fulfilling to him than the previous season. He also never mentioned Durant’s name while listing the various reasons the 2018–19 season was so challenging.
Shiller ended up apologizing, but it will be interesting to see if this incident makes Kerr less inclined to engage with the media. He’s savvy enough to know clickbait and being taken out of context are regular occurrences for most sports figures. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to do fewer interviews.
2. ESPN's Paul Finebaum once said of Lane Kiffin, "How did someone like Lane Kiffin ever get these jobs? How did he land the Raiders job? At Tennessee? And particularly the one at SC? People think it’s because of his father, Monte, the great defensive wizard. In some respects, Lane Kiffin is the Miley Cyrus of college football. He has very little talent, but we simply can’t take our eyes off him.”
Monday, Kiffin appeared on Finebaum's ESPN show and reminded him of that take.
3. A lot of upsets and a thirst for the NCAA men's basketball tournament after it was canceled last year has led to decent viewership so far.
4. The Rockets snapped a 20-game losing streak Monday night, causing studio hosts Cayleigh Griffin and Calvin Murphy to bust out the Kool and the Gang.
5. Phillies slugger Bryce Harper must've been on empty over the weekend when he stopped for gas.
6. I taped the latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Sports Business Journal's Austin Karp a few hours before the NFL television deals were officially announced. We covered the deals and what could happen with Sunday Ticket. We also talked about men's college basketball's ratings problem going into the NCAA tournament, the new NHL/ESPN deal and the ups and downs of broadcast television.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: It was 20 years ago today that another "Imagine if Twitter were around for this" moment took place: Randy Johnson accidentally killing a bird with a pitch.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.