Cameras caught Kerr roaming the sideline when he uttered, "F--- you, m-----f-----."
At a shootaround Saturday morning in preparation for Saturday night's game against the Denver Nuggets, Kerr was remorseful.
"I need to do better. Honestly, I need to do better," he said. "That was embarrassing. My daughter sent me the meme of it. It was all over the internet. I just hung my head in shame. I am very passionate and intense, but I can't use that kind of wording. I would never say that to anybody in a normal setting. It's just awful. When I saw that, I was like, 'Oh, my God. What's the matter with me?'"
He later said: "I'm always going to get on refs to stick up for my guys, and that's the point, but I can't use that kind of language."
Kerr wasn't the only coach who had choice words for the officials. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected late in the contest. He was seen saying, "Terrible f---ing referee."
"Well, that's where I learned it. I blamed Pop afterward," Kerr said sarcastically. "You're the one who taught me that stuff, Pop. I think he may have said something similar when he got tossed. But, yeah, sometimes the temper and the competitive desire gets the best of us."
League sources said it is unlikely that Kerr or Popovich will receive a fine. Coaches are typically penalized if they do not leave the court in a timely fashion following an ejection.
Nowadays, it's virtually impossible for anything to occur during action without it being caught on camera.
"There's a camera on him at all times, but that's kind of the give and take of what we do," Stephen Curry said. "Most of our slip-ups happen and everybody gets to see it. Me throwing a mouthpiece, him cussing, little tussles on the court, all that kind of stuff. It's a part of basketball. You just have to deal with it and understand that nobody's perfect, but he's showing some fire."
Kerr said former Warrior Tom Tolbert, who is now a Bay Area radio host, jokingly suggested that he use a laminated play card to shield his mouth like NFL coaches do.
The energy and passion Kerr demonstrates is part of what makes him an effective coach. He said he is not going to tone that aspect down but intends to exercise more self-control when communicating with the officials.
"I think there's a certain amount of yelling you have to do as coach when you don't like what's going on," Kerr said. "Maybe you're trying to motivate your guys, maybe you're trying to get on the ref to change the momentum a little, and that's all part of it. But what I said the other night was inexcusable, and I can't use that kind of language."