The Unreleased Ron Adams #7: Appreciating Steph, Klay, KD, Andre
From right before the 2018 Finals.
Ron Adams is the legendary assistant coach whom Steve Kerr brought with him when he began with the Warriors. I’ve always enjoyed his scholarly and thoughtful discussions of basketball.
The series of exclusive, unreleased Ron Adams chats so far:
#6. Houston’s 27 missed threes (group discussion)
#7. Appreciating Steph, Klay, KD, Andre (group discussion)
I had some interesting chats with him with other reporters present and multiple people asking questions, so they’re not exclusive. But they’ve not been published in full before, so enjoy! These are from right before the 2018 NBA Finals.
Andre Iguodala was injured and ended up missing Games 4 through 7 in the WCF gains Houston, and then after this chat, Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals.
Question: What are the challenges of defending LeBron James if Andre's not ready to go?
Ron Adams: Well, Andre is a pivotal piece for us.
I personally think... I know there was a lot of banter about Houston missing Chris Paul, on Houston's side. [CP3 missed Game 6 and 7 due to injury.] Chris is a significant player but Andre against Houston is a VERY significant player, more so than the average person understands.
We need him, and it makes it more difficult to have one less defender who's capable of “guarding Lebron” — I'll put that in quotes — because anyway guarding Lebron is obviously a handful, you need help in guarding LeBron. We miss Andre.
Question. You talked about the confidence, like when Steph is not shooting well, to keep going. How hard is it really for a shooter to have amnesia and keep shooting?
Ron Adams: Well, I think confidence is confidence. I think Steph is one of the most confident guys and clever shot makers that I've ever seen.
Obviously, not only his three point shooting, but he's also one of the all-time great, I think, lay-in shooters.
So, confidence is confidence. It's like for any of you guys, you believe in what you do, maybe you have a deadline that's hard to make, but you know what you're doing. It's no different.
Question. Thoughts on Klay Thompson's responsibilities, seems like in this series [2018 NBA Finals] he has to give a little extra.
Ron Adams: Well, Klay is Klay. We want him to score the ball and take good shots, do it like he always does defensively. It's pretty simple for Klay.
Question. It seemed like there was a conflict. Once Steph started to get into a rhythm in Game 3, KD had been doing a lot of isolation and carrying the team until then…
Ron Adams: You know when you talk about KD's one on one. We weren't moving the ball in general. We were struggling. They were doing a good job defensively. We weren't doing our normal job making the simple extra pass. Quite frankly, we needed him because nothing much else was happening. So it was born out of just the situation of the moment.
So most of the guys are all pretty compatible in terms of how they play. KD approaches it differently than Steph. I just think there's a compatibility, in my mind.
Here’s a fun video about a great old play that involved all four of these players.
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Love these anecdotes: "Klay is Klay" pretty much says it all
Great job Eric! Being in Phoenix, I literally laughed out loud at the Saguaro comments.🤣