Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr

Kerr as Warriors head coach in February 2015
Golden State Warriors
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1965-09-27) September 27, 1965
Beirut, Lebanon
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Palisades Charter
(Los Angeles, California)
College Arizona (1983–1988)
NBA draft 1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 50th overall
Selected by the Phoenix Suns
Playing career 1988–2003
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
Number 4, 5, 2, 25
Coaching career 2014–present
Career history
As player:
1988–1989 Phoenix Suns
19891992 Cleveland Cavaliers
1992–1993 Orlando Magic
19931998 Chicago Bulls
19992001 San Antonio Spurs
2001–2002 Portland Trail Blazers
2002–2003 San Antonio Spurs
As coach:
2014–present Golden State Warriors
Career highlights and awards
As player
As coach
Career statistics
Points 5,437 (6.0 ppg)
Rebounds 1,060 (1.2 rpg)
Assists 1,658 (1.8 apg)
Stats at

Stephen Douglas Kerr (born September 27, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player and the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors.[1] Kerr is a six-time NBA champion, winning three with the Chicago Bulls and two with the San Antonio Spurs as a player, and one with the Warriors as a head coach. Kerr has the highest career 3-point percentage (45.4%) for any player with at least 2,000 shot attempts in NBA history.

On June 2, 2007, the Phoenix Suns named Kerr the team's President of Basketball Operations and General Manager. Kerr helped Managing Partner Robert Sarver buy the Suns in 2004 and became one of Sarver's trusted basketball advisors. Kerr announced his retirement from the Suns in June 2010. Afterwards, Kerr returned as a color commentator for NBA on TNT until 2014, when he pursued a career in coaching.

On May 14, 2014, the Golden State Warriors named Kerr the team's head coach. On April 4, 2015, with a win over the Dallas Mavericks, Kerr broke the NBA record for the most regular season wins for a rookie coach. The Warriors went on to win the 2015 NBA Finals, making Kerr the first rookie coach to win a championship since Pat Riley in the 1982 NBA Finals.

On April 13, 2016, the Warriors broke the record for the most wins in an NBA season.

Early life

Steve Kerr is a son of Malcolm H. Kerr, an American academic who specialized in the Middle East, and his wife Ann.[2] He has three siblings.[3] His grandfather Stanley Kerr volunteered with the Near East Relief after the Armenian Genocide and rescued women and orphans in Aleppo and Marash before eventually settling in Beirut.[4] Kerr spent much of his childhood in Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries. He attended Cairo American College in Egypt, the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon, and Palisades High School (now Palisades Charter High School) in Los Angeles.

His 52-year-old father Malcolm was murdered by the Islamic Jihad (later, elements of Islamic Jihad formed Hezbollah), on the morning of January 18, 1984, while he was serving as president of the American University of Beirut in Beirut.[5][6][7][8] His father was shot twice in the back of his head, by gunmen using silencer-equipped revolvers, in the hallway outside his office.[3][6][7][8] Kerr was 18 years old at the time, and a college freshman.[5] Steve Kerr said: "Before my father was killed, my life was impenetrable. Bad things happened to other people."[2] The Kerr family sued the Iranian government under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.[9] While warming up for a game at Arizona State in 1988, Kerr had to deal with a number of fans in the crowd chanting "PLO" and "your father's history".[10][11] Though teary-eyed, Kerr scored 20 points in the first half, making all six of his 3-point attempts.[11] The athletic director of Arizona State, Charles Harris, sent a letter of apology to Kerr a few days later.[12]

Kerr graduated from the University of Arizona in 1988 with a Bachelor of General Studies, with emphasis on history, sociology and English.[13][14]

Collegiate career

Minimally recruited out of high school, Kerr played basketball for the University of Arizona from 1983 to 1988. In the summer of 1986, Kerr was named to the USA Basketball team that competed in the FIBA World Championship in Spain. The team was the last American Men's Senior Team composed strictly of amateur players to capture a gold medal. He injured his knee in the tournament, forcing him to miss an entire season (1986–87) at Arizona. After returning to the team, Kerr became a fan favorite due to his leadership and long-range shooting. He helped the Wildcats reach the Final Four of the NCAA Division I basketball tournament in 1988, along with future NBA teammate Sean Elliott, future NBA journeyman Tom Tolbert, and future MLB All-Star Kenny Lofton. He also set an NCAA record for 3-point percentage in a season (114–199, 57.3%).

Professional career

Career beginnings

Kerr was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the second round of the 1988 NBA draft.

Steve Kerr was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1989. He spent over three seasons (1989–92) there, and then part of the 1992–93 season with the Orlando Magic.

Chicago Bulls

In 1993, he signed with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls made the playoffs in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons, but without Michael Jordan's presence for all of 1994 and much of 1995, the team could not advance to the Finals. However, with Jordan back full-time for the 1995–96 season, the Bulls set a then NBA-record of 72–10 and defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals.

Kerr played a major part of the Bulls' championship victory in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. In the final seconds of Game 6 with the score tied at 86, he took a pass from Jordan and hit the game-winner. The Bulls won, earning the franchise's fifth title. Kerr also won the 3-Point Shootout at the 1997 All-Star Game.

In the last minute of Game 2 of the 1998 NBA Finals against Utah, Kerr missed a 3-pointer, grabbed his own rebound and made a no-look pass while in midair to Michael Jordan who made a crucial three-point play, putting them in the lead for good. The play helped Chicago win the game and tie the series at 1. The Bulls won the series in 6 games.

San Antonio Spurs

During the 1998 off-season, Kerr was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Chuck Person and a first-round pick in the 2000 NBA draft, where he would soon return to the NBA Finals. His timely departure from Chicago gave him a chance to win a fourth straight NBA Title, as the Spurs were just emerging as a championship-caliber team. By contrast, the Chicago Bulls went from first-to-worst, finishing last in the conference with a 13–37 record.

The Spurs made it to the 1999 NBA Finals. It was the first finals appearance in their history, and Kerr won his fourth ring in a row when the Spurs beat the New York Knicks for the 1999 NBA championship. He is one of two people to win four straight NBA titles without being a part of the 1960s Boston Celtics dynasty (the other is Frank Saul, who won four straight with Rochester and Minneapolis from 1951–54).[15]

Portland Trail Blazers

Steve was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers on July 24, 2001 in a 3-man deal. He would remain in Portland for the 2001–02 season, playing in 65 games.

Return to the Spurs

After his brief stint in Portland, he was traded back to San Antonio on August 2, 2002. He supported the Spurs from the bench in nearly every game (75) the following year, in what would be his final season in the league.[16]

Kerr made key contributions in Game 6 of the 2003 Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Among those were four second-half 3-pointers that helped eliminate Dallas. The Spurs eventually won the NBA championship that year by beating the New Jersey Nets in the 2003 NBA Finals 4–2.

Kerr ended his career as a dependable bench player who could make jump shots and 3-pointers in critical moments.

Kerr announced his retirement after the 2003 NBA Finals. He played 910 regular season games but started only 30 of them, 20 of those games coming in the 1991–92 season. His career totals are: 5,437 points (6 ppg), 1,060 rebounds (1.2 rpg), and 1,658 assists (1.8 apg). He also retired as the league's all-time leader in three-point shooting percentage for a season (.524 in 1994–95) and career (.454).

Post-playing career

Television analyst

Kerr in 2013

In 2003, Kerr became a broadcast analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), offering commentary alongside renowned analyst Marv Albert. During his tenure he performed a segment sponsored by Coors Light called Steve's Refreshing Thoughts in which he brought up interesting facts in NBA history. This segment continued through sponsorship, and became known as Steve Wonders, sponsored by Sprint. In the same time period, Kerr also contributed to Yahoo! as an NBA commentator.

He has provided his voice for the in-game commentary of EA Sports video games NBA Live 06, NBA Live 07, NBA Live 08, NBA Live 09 and NBA Live 10 with Albert. He has also provided his voice as a color analyst for NBA 2K12, NBA 2K13, NBA 2K14 and NBA 2K15. He remains a commentator in NBA 2K15 despite becoming the Golden State Warriors coach for the 2014–15 season several months prior to the game's release.

Kerr left broadcasting in 2007 to work as a general manager for the Phoenix Suns, but it was confirmed on June 28, 2010 that he would return as an NBA analyst for TNT starting with the 2010–11 NBA season. Since 2011, Kerr has also called the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship on Turner Sports and CBS, teaming up with lead broadcasters Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg for the First Four and Final Four games, and with Albert in other rounds.

Kerr was a regular contributor to the website Grantland since 2011.

Phoenix Suns front office

On April 15, 2004, Kerr was announced as a member of a potential group of buyers that would acquire his old team, the Suns, from Jerry Colangelo for $300 million. He became part of Suns management, acting as a consultant.[17][18]

On June 2, 2007, Kerr announced his departure from his broadcasting position at TNT and his commentating position at Yahoo! to assume duties as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns beginning with the 2007–2008 season.

Kerr in 2008

On February 6, 2008, reports surfaced that Kerr was planning to trade Phoenix Suns forward Shawn Marion and guard Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat in exchange for Shaquille O'Neal, which he did. The Suns were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in five games in the first round of the playoffs.

On December 10, 2008, Kerr continued to remake the Suns roster by trading away Boris Diaw, Raja Bell, and Sean Singletary to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Jason Richardson, Jared Dudley, and the Bobcats' 2010 second round draft pick, which was used to draft Gani Lawal of Georgia Tech.[19]

On June 25, 2009, Kerr traded Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a future second-round draft pick and cash.

On May 5, 2010, the Suns wore Los Suns jerseys in Game 2 against the Spurs as to be united against the controversial Arizona immigration law. Kerr himself compared the law to Nazi Germany.[20]

On June 15, 2010, Kerr stepped down as President and GM of the Suns. Despite stepping down, Kerr still owned a 1% share with the Suns organization that he kept until 2014.

Head coaching career

Golden State Warriors (2014–present)

On May 14, 2014, Kerr reached an agreement to become the head coach for the Golden State Warriors, succeeding Mark Jackson.[21][22] Kerr coached in the 2014 Summer League for the Warriors. During the 2014–15 season, the team's offense employed elements of the triangle offense from his playing days in Chicago under Phil Jackson, the spacing and pace of Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and the uptempo principles Alvin Gentry used in Phoenix when Kerr was the GM.[23]

After the Warriors won their 14th consecutive victory over the Houston Rockets, Kerr became the first coach to start his career with a 19–2 record.[24] This beat out Al Cervi and his 18–2 start with the Syracuse Nationals. On December 10, 2014 Kerr became the first NBA rookie head coach to win 21 of his first 23 games.[25] Kerr was named the head coach of the Western Conference team for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game after Golden State had the best record in the conference.[26] On April 4, the Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks 123–110 to clinch home court advantage throughout the playoffs and Kerr got his 63rd win of the season to become the highest winning rookie head coach in NBA history, passing Tom Thibodeau and his 62 wins with the Chicago Bulls in the 2010–11 season. In the NBA Coach of the Year voting, Kerr was runner up to Mike Budenholzer.

The Warriors ultimately finished with one of the best regular seasons in NBA history, and the greatest in the team's 69-year history. Golden State ended with an overall record of 67–15, becoming the 10th team to win 67 or more games in a single season. It was the first time the Warriors had ever won as many as 60 games in a season; their previous high was 59 in their last championship season of 1974–75. The Warriors also ended with a 39–2 home record, which is tied for the second best home record in NBA history.

The Warriors were first in defensive efficiency for the season and second in offensive efficiency, barely missing the mark that the Julius Erving led Sixers achieved by being first in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They became the first team in NBA history to have two win streaks over 15 at home (18 and 19).

In the opening round of the playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans, Kerr led the Warriors to their first four-game playoff sweep since the 1975 NBA Finals. Afterwards, the team surpassed the Memphis Grizzlies (4–2, in the second round). Down 2–1 in the series, Kerr made an unconventional adjustment in Game 4 to leave the Grizzlies' Tony Allen open and have his defender, center Andrew Bogut, guard the interior. His strategy was lauded after Allen, Memphis' best wing defender, was benched and limited to 16 minutes after missing wide open shots.[27][28][29] The Warriors then defeated the Houston Rockets (4–1, in the Western Conference Finals) to achieve the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years.

The Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals. Kerr and rival coach David Blatt were both in their first season as NBA head coaches, and this was the first time a pair of rookie head coaches faced each other in the NBA Finals since the NBA's first year of existence, in 1947 with Eddie Gottlieb of the Philadelphia Warriors and Harold Olsen of the Chicago Stags competing.[30] After the Warriors went down 2–1 to Cleveland, Kerr started swingman Andre Iguodala in place of Bogut, jump-starting their stagnant offense for a 103–82 road win that evened the series. It was Iguodala's first start of the season. After the game, Kerr admitted to lying to the press in response to pregame questions about potential changes to his starting lineup.[31] The Warriors went on to win the championship in six games, defeating the Cavaliers 4–2 in the series to give Kerr his sixth championship and first as a head coach.

After the first two days of the defending champion Warriors' training camp, Kerr took an indefinite leave of absence to rehabilitate his back, which had caused problems since the 2015 NBA Finals.[32] Around this time, assistant coach Luke Walton assumed Kerr's coaching duties. Kerr missed all of 2015 and most of January 2016, although technically the NBA credited Walton's win-loss record to Kerr.[33] Kerr said "I think it's ridiculous", when asked about getting all of Walton's wins.[34] On January 22, 2016, Kerr returned to coaching after missing 43 games, but warned he might need to miss games occasionally if there was a recurrence of the headaches and pain related to the spinal fluid leak that sidelined him. The Warriors went 39-4 with interim coach Luke Walton.[35] The Warriors went 34-5 after Kerr returned to coaching. Golden State broke the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls 72-10 record by winning 73 games.[36] Kerr became the first person in NBA history to be a part of 70-win teams as a player and head coach.

Kerr was named 2015–16 NBA Coach of the Year.[37]

Kerr would lead the Warriors to the 2016 NBA Finals where they would again face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors lost in 7 games.

On November 20, 2016, The NBA announced that Kerr had been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating during a radio interview with KNBR 680 on Thursday the 17th.[38]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Kerr won an NBA championship


1983–84 Arizona 28 ... 22.6 .516 ... .692 1.2 1.3 0.3 0.0 7.1
1984–85 Arizona 31 ... 33.4 .568 ... .803 2.4 4.0 0.6 0.1 10.0
1985–86 Arizona 32 ... 38.4 .540 ... .899 3.2 4.2 1.6 0.0 14.4
1986–87 Arizona Redshirt ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1987–88 Arizona 38 ... 32.6 .559 .573 .824 2.0 3.9 1.2 0.1 12.6
Career[39] ... 129 ... 32.1 .548 .573 .815 2.2 3.4 1.0 0.1 11.2


Regular season

1988–89 Phoenix 26 0 6.0 .435 .471 .667 .7 .9 .3 .0 2.1
1989–90 Cleveland 78 5 21.3 .444 .507 .863 1.3 3.2 .6 .1 6.7
1990–91 Cleveland 57 4 15.9 .444 .452 .849 .6 2.3 .5 .1 4.8
1991–92 Cleveland 48 20 17.6 .511 .432 .833 1.6 2.3 .6 .2 6.6
1992–93 Cleveland 5 0 8.2 .500 .000 1.000 1.4 2.2 .4 .0 2.4
1992–93 Orlando 47 0 9.4 .429 .250 .909 .8 1.3 .2 .0 2.6
1993–94 Chicago 82 0 24.8 .497 .419 .856 1.6 2.6 .9 .0 8.6
1994–95 Chicago 82 0 22.4 .527 .524 .778 1.5 1.8 .5 .0 8.2
1995–96 Chicago 82 0 23.4 .506 .515 .929 1.3 2.3 .8 .0 8.4
1996–97 Chicago 82 0 22.7 .533 .464 .806 1.6 2.1 .8 .0 8.1
1997–98 Chicago 50 0 22.4 .454 .438 .918 1.5 1.9 .5 .1 7.5
1998–99 San Antonio 44 0 16.7 .391 .313 .886 1.0 1.1 .5 .1 4.4
1999–00 San Antonio 32 0 8.4 .432 .516 .818 .6 .4 .1 .0 2.8
2000–01 San Antonio 55 1 11.8 .421 .429 .933 .6 1.0 .3 .0 3.3
2001–02 Portland 65 0 11.9 .470 .394 .975 .9 1.0 .2 .0 4.1
2002–03 San Antonio 75 0 12.7 .430 .395 .882 .8 .9 .4 .0 4.0
Career[39] 910 30 17.8 .479 .454 .864 1.2 1.8 .5 .1 6.0


1990 Cleveland 5 0 14.6 .286 .000 .000 1.2 2.0 .8 .0 1.6
1992 Cleveland 12 3 12.4 .439 .273 1.000 .5 .8 .4 .0 3.7
1994 Chicago 10 0 18.6 .361 .375 1.000 1.4 1.0 .7 .0 3.5
1995 Chicago 10 0 19.3 .475 .421 1.000 .6 1.5 .1 .0 5.1
1996 Chicago 18 0 19.8 .448 .321 .871 1.0 1.7 .8 .0 6.1
1997 Chicago 19 0 17.9 .429 .381 .929 .9 1.1 .9 .1 5.1
1998 Chicago 21 0 19.8 .434 .463 .818 .8 1.7 .3 .0 4.9
1999 San Antonio 11 0 8.8 .267 .231 .833 .8 .7 .2 .0 2.2
2001 San Antonio 9 0 11.2 .480 .333 .500 1.0 .7 .4 .1 3.3
2002 Portland 3 0 13.0 .429 .250 1.000 1.3 1.7 .3 .0 6.3
2003 San Antonio 10 0 4.6 .636 .833 .750 .3 .6 .1 .0 2.2
Career[39] 128 3 15.6 .426 .370 .876 .9 1.2 .5 .0 4.3

Coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L WL% Finish PG PW PL PWL% Result
Golden State 2014–15 826715.817 1st in Pacific 21165.762Won NBA Championship
Golden State 2015–16 82739.890 1st in Pacific 24159.625Lost in NBA Finals
Career 16414024.854 453114.689

See also


  1. "".
  2. 1 2 "A Separate Peace". tribunedigital-chicagotribune.
  3. 1 2 "Despite pain of dad's murder, Kerr became a champion – New York Post". New York Post.
  4. "The Inside Story Of Steve Kerr And His Family's Little-Known History Of Altruism In The Middle East". UPROXX. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  5. 1 2 "Steve Kerr and David Blatt Reached N.B.A. Finals on Unconventional Paths". The New York Times. June 5, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  6. 1 2 Los Angeles Times (June 1, 2015). "Bill Dwyre: Steve Kerr is defined as a person by much more than basketball".
  7. 1 2 "The assassination of Steve Kerr's father and the unlikely story of a champion – For The Win". For The Win.
  8. 1 2 "Warriors coach Steve Kerr guided by his father's life and lessons".
  9. "NBA Finals' Rookie Coaches: Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr and Cleveland Cavaliers' David Blatt". ABC News.
  10. ., New York Times
  11. 1 2 "Golden State Warriors' Steve Kerr is tough enough for NBA coaching". ESPN.
  12. Dodds, Tracy (March 1, 1988). "Arizona St. Apologizes to Kerr: Arizona Guard Was Target of Taunts by Fans Before Game". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  13. "Arizona Daily Wildcat – Steve Kerr ready for grad speech, tortillas". May 12, 2004.
  14. "Steve Kerr".
  15. Hudson, Jr., David L. (February 2007). Basketball Championships' Most Wanted. Potomac Books, Inc. p. 41. ISBN 1-59797-014-X.
  16. ,, accessed May 16, 2015.
  18. "Latest Headlines". Phoenix Suns.
  19. "Suns land Richardson from 'Cats". Archived from the original on December 11, 2008.
  20. "Phoenix to wear 'Los Suns' jerseys for Game 2 vs. Spurs". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved July 20, 2010.
  21. "Warriors Reach Agreement in Principle for Steve Kerr to Become Team's Head Coach – THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS".
  22. "Steve Kerr accepts Golden State Warriors' coaching position".
  23. Gonzalez, Antonio (February 10, 2015). "Kerr coming to New York as an All-Star coach with Warriors". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015.
  24. Warriors' Steve Kerr off to best start in history for first-year coach
  25. "Rockets at Warriors".
  26. "Steve Kerr to coach West All-Stars". ESPN. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  27. Kawakami, Tim (May 16, 2015). "The playoff evolution of Steve Kerr, in real time, through the ups, downs, struggles and eventual triumph in this series". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015.
  28. Scott, Nate (May 12, 2015). "The Warriors' crazy defensive adjustment won them Game 4". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015.
  29. Jenkins, Bruce (May 18, 2015). "Warriors seem to have ingredients for greatness". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 28, 2015. (subscription required (help)).
  30. "Steve Kerr and David Blatt meet again, this time as rookie coaches in the NBA Finals – ProBasketballTalk".
  31. Deveney, Steve (June 12, 2015). "Steve Kerr lied, and the Warriors took advantage in Game 4". Sporting News. Archived from the original on June 13, 2015.
  32. "Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr to Take a Leave of Absence to Focus on Back Rehab". October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  33. "NBA reportedly considers crediting Luke Walton with Warriors' wins". Sporting News. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  34. "Luke Walton, the Warriors' winless wonder". ESPN.
  35. Shelburne, Ramona (February 10, 2016). "Kerr battles lingering spinal-fluid issues, but coaches through pain". Archived from the original on February 11, 2016.
  36. Amick, Sam (April 14, 2016). "Warriors notch NBA-record 73rd win to surpass 1995-96 Bulls". USA Today. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  37. "Warriors' Kerr named 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year". April 26, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  38. "Kerr fined $25K for publicly criticizing officials". Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  39. 1 2 3 Steve Kerr,, accessed March 20, 2010.
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