Steve Kerr’s refreshing perspective on ‘frustrating’ Gary Payton II situation

The Warriors bolstered their defense by adding a familiar face ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline. The only problem is that the effect will not be felt for a long time.

Golden State acquired guard Gary Payton II from the Portland Trail Blazers in a four-team trade before the deadline. After Payton failed with the Warriors, the entire trade was put in jeopardy before Golden State finally accepted the trade three days later.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr joined 95.7 The Game’s “Damon & Ratto” Thursday, where he was asked about his initial reaction to the news of Payton’s failed physical.

“Yeah, disappointing, obviously,” Kerr said. “I mean, we were excited about Gary’s addition. We know what he did for us last year and we needed immediate help. We needed a boost at the deadline and that was one of the reasons for the deal. So to find out that he was going to being out for a while was frustrating, but that’s how it goes.

“It is what it is. So we’ve got to find a way to keep moving forward and hopefully get him back at the end of the year.”

Payton, who has a core muscle injury, will be re-evaluated in a month. For Kerr and the Warriors, it’s onward and upward.

“You go through these things and every year something different happens,” Kerr explained. “Players are injured, players are traded and things happen. One year we had the worst record in the league, last year we won the championship. That’s just life, things happen. So I don’t spend my time throwing things against the wall and apologizing for things , and we just keep moving forward. You just keep dealing with what’s happening right now.”

As frustrating as the news was for Kerr, it pales in comparison to the headache it gave Warriors president of basketball operations and general manager Bob Myers.

“This is why I like being a coach better than being a general manager,” Kerr added. “You know, as a coach, you just deal with what’s right in front of you. As a general manager, you have all kinds of things to deal with, and I know Bob has talked about that and Bob is limited in what he can say. And so am I, so we are where we are.”

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Although the Warriors will be without their defensive prowess for at least the next month, Payton’s potential return before the end of the regular season or in the playoffs should give Golden State a much-needed boost.

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