There are several notable Arizona alumni, especially in the NBA. There’s Damon Stoudamire, Sean Elliot, TJ McConnell. Outside the NBA, there’s horse trainer Bob Baffert, human hulk and Bill Belickick-enabler Rob Gronkowski, and then there’s Courtney Kardashian, who’s famous for no reason. However, of all the Arizona alumni, none are greater than Steve Kerr, who is just an all-around great guy.
Steve, as his friends probably call him, was an incredible basketball player for the ‘Cats and several NBA teams, and led a ragtag group of Chicago Bulls to an NBA Finals three-peat. He won two more championships with the Spurs. He also is coaching possibly the best team in NBA history in the Golden State Warriors. Third, and lastly, he’s the voice for reason that we all need in life. You know, that voice for reason that stands on one shoulder and its opponent on the other? Yeah, that voice for reason is Steve Kerr. The other voice is like, I don’t know, Bobby Hurley.
Kerr is loved for his time at Arizona. He played at the U of A for four years, averaged 11.2 points per game, and he led Arizona to its first Final Four as a senior. He led the Pac-12 in both three point shots and field goals in 1987-88, the only year that he was at Arizona when the three point line existed. He is Arizona’s career leader in three point field goal percentage (if there was any doubt that he was the guy to coach Golden State with Steph and Klay, here ya go). Kerr also coaches another Arizona great, Andre Igoudala, at Golden State. He became a cult legend because, when he would hit a shot, the PA announcer would announce him, screaming a drawn out, “STEEEEVVEEE KEERRRRRR,” and the crowd at the McKale Center would echo, screaming their own, “STEEEVEEE KEEERRRRR.” What a time, man.
The first ten seconds of this video show that call and response chant.
Finally, I know you’re probably thinking, “the only thing that could properly punctuate Kerr’s Arizona career is video of him rapping, along with his teammates, in a song about themselves.” And you know what, you’re absolutely right.
They mentioned the fact that they don’t do drugs a ton in that song, but the thought that Kerr and Sean Elliot did a lot of drugs while playing for Lute Olson didn’t occur to me. Now, though, I’m really curious about what drugs they were doing.
Of course, Kerr left Arizona and bounced around a few teams before playing with MJ and the Bulls. He won a few rings there, hit a game-winner in the 1997 Finals, no big deal. And if you’re reading this and want to feel old, I have no recollection of that, because I was born a year and four months later.
What makes Kerr the best Arizona alumnus, though, isn’t what he accomplished then, it’s for what he’s doing now. He’s the coach of one of, if not the, best teams in NBA history. He’s in the finals again with a 1-0 lead over possibly the best player in history, but that’s just the start. Being the most successful coach in the NBA right now has given him a platform, and he’s used that platform to speak out against the evil that he seses in the world.
He’s spoken out against several of Trump’s policies, prejudiced remarks and embarrassing combinations of both. Kerr has demonstrated as how to perfectly utilize the platform that the NBA gives players and coaches. Take his latest social justice rant. Kerr went after the NFL for excluding the NFLPA from negotiations surrounding the national anthem, calling out the NFL for why the thinks the new policy is detrimental, and weeded out the Fox News hysteria from which the policy derived.
Kerr has also spoken out against the current administration’s apparent apathy towards gun violence in another timely rant. Again, in this address to the media, he peeled back the top layer of the issue to the meat, calling out both the NRA and current elected officials’ allegiance to the NRA. He also offered a solution, calling for those officials who’ve accepted money from the NRA to be voted out of office. Outside of differing political opinions, there’s nothing about this that’s objectionable. He addresses something that he sees as a problem, identifies the cause of said problem, and then offers a solution.
In conclusion, here are some cool fun-facts about Steve Kerr:
- He was born in Beirut, Lebanon. His grandfather volunteered throughout the Middle East before landing in Beirut, and his dad was the president of American University of Beirut.
- Steve Kerr robbed Shaquille O’Neal twice of an NBA championship. The first time was in 2003, when Kerr’s San Antonio Spurs beat the back-to-back-to-back NBA champion LA Lakers in the second round of the playoffs. The second time was when Kerr was the general manager of the Suns and traded for Shaq. The Suns lost in the first round of the playoffs the following year.
- Finally, Kerr has talked openly about how he tried weed to combat pain following his back surgeries rather than turning to opioids. 🤘🤘🤘, I guess.