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Steve Kerr, a great NBA player and coach, fueled by the death of his father

“I received a phone call in the middle of the night from a family friend,” Steve Kerr recount the last dancea netflix documentary that tells the gripping story of his legendary Chicago Bulls team in the 1990s.

Kerr remembers January 19, 1984, and the moment he discovered his father had been murdered in a targeted terrorist attack in Lebanon. The 18-year-old attended the University of Arizona at the time while his father was working as president of the American University of Beirut. Malcolm Kerr, whose predecessor had been kidnapped six months earlier, was shot in the back of the neck by Shiite militiamen in the hallway outside his office.

“My phone rang in my dorm at 3am, so I knew something was up. He just said, ‘Steve, I have terrible news. So here is…”

Kerr was born in Beirut and attended school there and in Cairo before moving to Los Angeles as a teenager. He graduated in 1983, and a few months later his father was killed.

It sparked a fire in the unassuming teenager and fueled his ambition to play professional basketball. Before a college game four years later, Kerr was abused by rival Arizona State fans who chanted “PLO” (the Palestine Liberation Organization, linked to Malcolm’s death) and “where’s your dad. ? “. Kerr fought back tears but was unresponsive and instead produced one of his best performances, making six of six three-pointers in a relentless first half and leading his team to victory.

He was enrolled in NBA‘s Phoenix Suns later that year, and went on to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic before joining the Chicago Bulls and becoming part of their astonishing era of success, inspired by the talent of Michael Jordan and driven by his unparalleled Will to Win.

Kerr spoke in the last dance on how he finally earned Jordan’s respect when he snapped during a wayward training session and punched his teammate in the chest. Amazed that someone stood up to him, the hulking Jordan punched Kerr right in the eye, and their relationship grew stronger from that day on.

Kerr won three NBA championship rings with the Bulls. His humility shone through in the documentary as he hailed the influence of his teammates, and he later admitted to feeling “embarrassed” to have had so much airtime on the show in front of other more important players. .

Steve Kerr in action for the Bulls in 1996

(Getty Images)

However, his role as a three-point sniper was essential. His most famous moment came in the 1997 NBA Finals, late in Game 6 of a seven-game series against fierce rivals Utah Jazz. Jordan’s pure aura drew opponents towards him as he faked the winning shot, before throwing a surprise pass to Kerr who was waiting in space and hitting the winner himself.

Kerr’s dry sense of humor came through in the aftermath of this triumph. He took the stage to deliver a speech during the Bulls’ celebratory parade and joked: ‘There have been some misconceptions about what really happened. Phil [Bulls coach Phil Jackson] said to Michael “I want you to take the last shot” and Michael said “you know Phil, I don’t really feel comfortable in these situations so maybe we should go in another direction”. .. So I was like ‘well, I guess I have to bail Michael out again’.

Kerr won two more championships with the San Antonio Spurs before retiring in 2003. A stint as a television analyst was followed by three years as general manager of the Phoenix Suns before beginning his coaching stint with Golden State Warriors, winning three championships to date and an NBA Coach of the Year award.

The 56-year-old is hugely respected in basketball rivalries for his accomplishments as a player and coach, but he has also earned respect for his character and sense of integrity, as well as the way he Acts like. It’s that side of Kerr, the part of him that burns for justice and peace, that shone Tuesday when he put aside the crucial Warriors playoff game for talk about gun control following a Texas school shooting, and challenged those in power to make change.

He has used his platform to speak out on issues of social injustice like the Black Lives Matter movement and has publicly criticized President Donald Trump for his rhetoric towards women and minorities. But the issue of gun violence is particularly close to Kerr’s heart, and it showed when he fought back tears. “I’m not going to talk about basketball,” an emotional Kerr said at the pregame press conference, before slamming his hands on the table and shouting, “When are we going to do something?!”

He added: “I am tired. I’m so tired of standing here and offering my condolences to the devastated families out there. I’m so sick of ‘excuse me, I’m sorry’, I’m sick of moments of silence. Sufficient.”

Enough, because Kerr knows the pain of guns all too well. His life changed the night he learned of his father’s death, and he has been fighting ever since.

Steve Kerr, a great NBA player and coach, fueled by the death of his father

Source link Steve Kerr, a great NBA player and coach, fueled by the death of his father

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