If I had to guess, I would say that Steve Kerr was not expecting to get in a boxing match with Michael Jordan when he came to training camp entering the 1995-1996 season, but it sure did prepare him for what was to come later on in his career.
Kerr refused to let Michael Jordan push him around despite being a role player on a championship caliber team. Not only did he prove he had a backbone, but he challenged arguably the greatest player to ever put on an NBA uniform, and that showed some serious guts.
Kerr revealed in ESPN’s docuseries The Last Dance that he doesn’t regret his scuffle with Jordan.
” It was probably in a weird way the best thing I ever did was stand up for myself with him”
The scuffle earned Jordan’s respect and taught the league’s best player how to become a better leader. The Bulls went on to win 72 games, and an NBA championship that season and both men credit that altercation to their success that season. Steve Kerr’s decision to stand up for himself not only cemented his legacy in Chicago, but the argument can also be made that it helped cement his legacy in Golden State Warrior as well.
Steve Kerr’s fight with MJ prepared him for his first head coaching roleTweet
There was a moment early in Kerr’s career when he got into it with Draymond Green in the locker room at halftime against the Thunder in 2016. Green had a problem with Steve Kerr questioning his shot selection and that is what led to the shouting match between the two competitive men with fiery tempers.
On Showtime’s podcast All the Smoke Green recalls him and Kerr jawing back and forth to the point where some feared it would escalate to something physical.
“I was at a point where I’m like, ‘If (Kerr) say one more thing to me I’m about to f—— lose it on him…”
Both Green and Kerr eventually settled down and the Warriors were able to squeak away with a 121-118 win over the Thunder. The incident created mutual respect between Green and Kerr. Green did not see him as a push over any longer, and it ultimately led to success, much like it did with Jordan. The Warriors ended the season 73-9, breaking the Bulls record for most regular season wins, but went on to lose in the NBA Finals.
It is apparent that Steve Kerr is not going to back down from anyone. His competitive nature and unwillingness to shy away has played a tremendous role in his success as a player and a head coach.
Kerr won 4 straight NBA championships following his altercation with Jordan (3 in CHI/1 in SA), another championship in 2003 with San Antonio and 2 more in Golden State as a head coach after his altercation with Green, so he must be doing something right.
Steve Kerr’s fight with MJ prepared him for his first head coaching role.Tweet