This is the introductory portion of a column about Steve Kerr. It’s published at Latest Basketball News.
The NBA’s 75th season confirmed what many basketball experts had already believed: Steve Kerr is one of the best NBA coaches of all time.
The Golden State Warriors’ four NBA titles in Kerr’s eight seasons as bench boss (his first coaching gig) are a direct reflection of his free-flowing, yet disciplined approach to the game.
Smart, confident, a gifted communicator, and a savvy X’s and O’s tactician, Kerr owns a .732 winning percentage (No. 1 in league history) in the playoffs ― 93 wins, 34 losses.
A protégé of Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich ― who also played under Hall of Fame mentors Cotton Fitzsimmons and Lenny Wilkens early in his 15-season NBA career (1988-2003; five titles, three with the Chicago Bulls, two more with the San Antonio Spurs) ― Kerr is an entrenched legend in his own right.
Kerr’s jaw-dropping winning percentage, recorded in an era in which 3-point shooting revolutionized the game, has been achieved, of course, with the otherworldly shooting skills of future first-ballot Hall of Famer Steph Curry setting the tone for the Warriors.
Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, resurrected his career with the Warriors. He has great respect for Kerr, one of the NBA’s top 10 coaches ever.
“Man, you’re talking about one of the greatest coaches of all time,” Wiggins declared in the euphoric aftermath of the Warriors’ 103-90 title-clinching victory over the Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on June 16. “The way he challenges his players but supports them, it’s amazing. He gives his players confidence and he puts his players in a position to succeed. So I’m definitely thankful for Steve Kerr.”
Curry sets the tone for Coach Kerr’s team
Without hesitation, Kerr will be the first to tell you that everything Golden State has accomplished during his tenure as a coach wouldn’t be possible without Curry in the lineup.
“Steph reminds me so much of Tim Duncan. Totally different players. But from a humanity standpoint, talent standpoint, humility, confidence, this wonderful combination that just makes everybody want to win for him.”
The Golden State Warriors coach also spoke about the overall makeup of the team’s roster, owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, and general manager Bob Myers before returning his focus to Curry.
“And I’m obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens,” Kerr said before adding, “We have had so many great players, but Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy in San Antonio.
Kerr insisted this is the “crowning achievement” of Curry’s career. It’s also the crowning achievement of Steve Kerr’s coaching career, even though he led the Warriors to five straight NBA Finals appearances at the start of his glorious run with the club.
To return to the Finals with a rebuilt team is incredibly difficult. And it also shows that Steve Kerr knows exactly what he’s doing ― and that he’s one of the top 10 NBA coaches of all time.
Read the full column here.