When talking about the success of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, all eyes are on Stephen Curry, Draymond Green or Klay Thompson, but there is another name that is also key: Steve Kerr. The mastermind of another wonderful team that he has led to glory for the fourth time. Before that, he already added another five rings as a player, proving that he is not only a great coach, but he was also a remarkable player, despite not having great personal statistics.
Unlike what we are used to, Kerr has found his place in San Francisco, knowing how to manage a group of players that have become a family. Without egos, with a collective spirit and an insatiable hunger to continue making history.
A group with few known scandals because Kerr’s work has always been based on discretion and respect for his players. A personality forged since he was a child where he had to live with tragedy.
His father was murdered when Steve was 18 years old
Steve was born in Beirut like his father Malcolm. He was a professor at the University of Arab History and in 1982 he accepted the position of President of the American University in Lebanon. On January 18, 1984, Malcolm was shot twice in the head by two members of Hezbollah.
Steve was a student at the University of Arizona and turned to basketball to help him through the ordeal.
This memory made Kerr exploded when last May 26th there was a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that ended the lives of almost 20 children. His strong anti-gun message went around the world.
Michael Jordan responded with a punch in the face
Kerr joined Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen‘s Chicago Bulls in 1993. He won three championships (1996, 1997 and 1998) and got into a fight with the 23 that later earned him respect. It was in 1995, during a training session.
Jordan made a foul to prevent a penetration and Kerr reacted by punching the star in the chest. Michael didn’t think twice and punched him in the face. From that moment on, their relationship improved.
“It was a lesson that Michael taught me to do my best and play better in key matches. I think I passed the test and he trusted me more from then on,” Steve would eventually admit.
Serious back problems and several operations
Health problems have also been a handicap in his career. In fact, in 2015, he had to spend half a season away from the bench to undergo surgery, where he had to return two years later, to solve his back pain.
However, despite this setback, Kerr did not stop being in touch with his players and Luke Walton, the one in charge of taking his place while he could not be present on a day-to-day basis.
He called Trump a racist
A few days after the murder of george floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis in 2020, Kerr did not remain silent. The coach called donald trump, president of the United States, a racist. The reason is that he called the people who demonstrated to protest that crime thugs.
Kerr disagreed with Trump and made it clear to everyone that the most important victory that year would be to end Trump’s cycle in the presidential election to be won by Joe Biden.