"I've been really patient" - Kerr makes the brutal but needed call on Golden State Warriors' veterans

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns
Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have helped the Golden State Warriors to four championships over the past decade. Kevon Looney has three titles with the franchise. Andrew Wiggins was the second-best player and an All-Star in their triumphant 2021-22 season.

By the end of Tuesday night's 119-116 loss to the Phoenix Suns, none of the quartet were on the floor. Green had taken himself out of the game by being ejected in the third period, but the remaining three were all left on the bench by Steve Kerr's choosing.

Steve Kerr's notable lineup shifts against the Phoenix Suns could reverberate over the remainder of the Golden State Warriors' season

Wiggins' disappointing season went from bad to worse -- first he was limited to less than 10 minutes and didn't close in a first-half where he scored just three points on 1-7 shooting. Despite Golden State leading by three at the main interval, Kerr was inspired into benching Wiggins and Looney for Brandin Podziemski and Jonathan Kuminga to start the third-quarter.

The 2022 All-Star played just over five minutes in the entire second-half and less than 15 minutes for the game. In a season where Wiggins has averaged just 12.1 points on 27.9% three-point shooting, Kerr's faith in his two-way forward finally came to an end.

Thompson was a little different, he still played 27 minutes in the three-point defeat. Yet he equally struggled, scoring just seven points on 2-10 shooting. The five-time All-Star didn't play in the final six minutes, acknowledging that it felt 'strange' while stating that "I've been playing like crap."

Kerr's been criticised by fans for his faith and patience in the veteran core so far this season, even when it's been evident that young players have better performed. Even though Tuesday night's game ended in defeat, most would recognize that it finally saw the brutal but much-needed changes required in the second-half.

The four-time championship coach finally lost patience in those that have served him so well, instead bringing an urgency that's only rapidly growing the further the Warriors' season falls into the mire.

""I just felt like tonight I had to play the guys who were playing the best," Kerr said. I've been really patient in trying to get everybody organized into groups and give guys freedom and space. Tonight did not feel like a night to have a lot of patience.""

So what's next? Where does this leave Wiggins who was, at least on Tuesday night, passed in the rotation by Podziemski, Kuminga and Moses Moody? It's not an overstatement to say that not only could we look back at this as an important juncture in the season, but a crucial one in the future direction of the franchise.

Kerr's decisions are set to become easier with Green likely to be suspended, though that only makes things much more difficult overall. Golden State's best band right now might be Stephen Curry and the young guys, leaving previously legendary and lead figures in the background as bit-part performers.

Things are changing but you can still score a $150 bonus from FanDuel Sportsbook by picking the winner of ANY NBA game today! Bet $5 or more (with a $10 deposit) on any team to win right now and you'll get $150 in bonus bets if you're right. Sign up for FanDuel now!