Despite occasionally getting in their shit in a publicly visible manner, Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered support to modern-day referees by saying today's NBA players push the boundaries to see what they can get away with. That these comments come less than two weeks after Kerr said he could put together a blooper reel of missed traveling violations is probably coincidental, but they show that you can still respect someone's work even if they piss you off immensely sometimes. (Well that, or he's trying to smooth things out. You be the judge.)
After talking about how much the game has changed over the past two decades and labeling refereeing during last year's postseason "almost a joke," Kerr sympathized with the men tasked with maintaining order while constantly getting shouted at.
"It's a tough job," he said to surrounding media. "I think what happens in this league, honestly, is that the players test the boundaries every single night. And they try to fool the refs. And why not? They're trying to win. They're trying to get to the foul line. But officiating is so hard. And it's never been more difficult because I think the players are taking more and more liberties.
"One that you see all the time now is players dribbling with one hand—and you try to get your arm in to defend him—and the player uses the off arm to literally grab the defender and flail and look like he's shooting the ball. That happens all the time. Players are smart and they're doing that. It's an offensive foul. But good luck trying to officiate that at full speed. That's impossible. These guys have a tough job. I don't know who's right and who's wrong, I just know I wouldn't want to be a ref."
Watch Kerr's entire comments (and possible repeat shot at James Harden?) below: