Ron Adams: The Warriors Wise Assistant Coach

Ron AdamsGreat article in the New York Times about Ron Adams assistant coach for Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors.

The article describes so many great attributes (“professorial, bookish and hard charging”), but what is clear is just how complementary his strength and style are to the great Steve Kerr.

The culture of the Warriors shines through as well in the article.

What makes Adams special?

The Right Role:

Prior to joining Kerr he had been the assistant in Boston to another great young coach, Brad Stevens.

To this day, Stevens credits Adams, whom he calls “my editor,” with helping him establish the habits and expectations that have come to characterize the Celtics, now one of the best teams in the league. It looked like Boston would be his last stop.

He makes clear he is in the exact right role

“I try to be an artisan,” he adds. “There is a purity to teaching as an assistant — a virtue in being a craftsman and having a craft. It’s the nuts-and-bolts stuff that appeals to me, and the relationships.


He teaches all the time. About life off the court and the details that matter on the court.

At the same time, his reputation for teaching the game kept soaring. He grounded his players in the same minutiae he now preaches to the Warriors: angles, foot positions, how to spread their hands, how to be an instigator instead of lying in wait, how to be flexible enough as a unit to protect multiple positions.

Truth Teller

He’s the coach who can tell Kerr the truth. Hold feet to fire. Fend off complacency.

Kerr has discovered that Adams’s truth-telling doesn’t show itself in dramatic confrontation but in the steady grind of the day to day. Even during a winning streak, “Ron will tell me, ‘We stunk last night,’” Kerr says. “He will say it to my face. He does not get fooled by our record. He’ll walk into practice and tell me we have to do a certain defensive drill, we can’t forget the fundamentals, because we’ve been awful.’”


One thing I love about the culture of the Warriors — they are engaged in the greater conversation beyond the sport.  Adams fits right into that and is a strong proponent of that ethos.

What of Curry, Durant, Green and all the other Warriors who are growing more and more comfortable with speaking out? “All of that makes me much prouder than anything they have ever done on the court,” he says. “We have players speaking truth to power.

The quality of the Warriors’ culture shines through in this article.

Read the whole Ron Adams article. Well worth your time.

More Updates on Ron Adams

Report: Warriors defensive guru turns down assistant coaching job with Lakers (Yahoo)
Why Ron Adams is no longer leading the Warriors’ defense (SFChronicle)

“Ron has kind of earned the right to carve his own path,” Kerr said. “I want him to feel a part of it, but I also want him to not feel like he has to travel on certain trips. My guess is he’ll go to Miami and L.A., then won’t go to the Midwest in the winter.”

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