Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr has had an impressive career coaching in the NBA. In his first year as head coach, he led the Warriors to the 2015 NBA title as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kerr also had an impressive playing career. He was a member of the Chicago Bulls team that won three in a row from 1996 to 1999. As a player, Kerr did something that Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant never did.
A look at Steve Kerr’s NBA career
The Phoenix Suns selected Kerr in the second round of the 1988 NBA draft out of the University of Arizona. Kerr had a successful college career in which he was named an All-American in his final year playing with the team. When he came into the NBA, Kerr only spent one season with Phoenix. He played in only 26 games averaging 2.1 points per game.
After spending just one season playing for the Suns, Kerr was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers the following season. He spent more than three seasons in Cleveland, and in his first year with the team, he led the league in 3-point percentage shooting 50 percent. Kerr was a high-volume shooter, and it did not take him long to find his rhythm as a shooter.
During the 1992-93 season, Kerr played in five games with the Cavaliers before he was sent to the Orlando Magic. He finished the season in Orlando, playing in 47 games coming off the bench. He only averaged 2.6 points per game with the Magic.
Kerr joins the Chicago Bulls
Kerr signed with the Bulls the season after they won their third straight NBA title. He set career-highs in minutes per game (24.8) and points per game (8.6) in his first season with the Bulls. Now, the Bulls were without Michael Jordan for the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons. The team had success but did not reach the finals in those two years without the superstar.
When Jordan returned the Bulls full-time during the 1995-96 season, the team was back on top of the league. That year the team finished with a 72-10 record. Kerr went on to average 8.4 points per game during the regular season as the Bulls went on to defeat the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA finals. As a player coming off the bench, Kerr was instrumental in the Bulls’ success.
The next season the Bulls made it back to the NBA finals against the Utah Jazz. Kerr hit a big shot in Game 6. The game was tied at 86, and Jordan found an open Kerr, and he hit the shot in the final seconds that would give the Bulls their second straight NBA title. The Bulls won their third consecutive championship the next season as they defeated the Utah Jazz for the second consecutive year. Kerr was now a three-time NBA champion in three years.
How Kerr became the last player to win four straight NBA titles
After the Bulls won the title in 1998, their dynasty came to an end. Jordan would step away from the game of basketball, and the team started to break up. For Kerr, he would join the San Antonio Spurs for the 1998-99 season. Due to a lockout, the season did not begin until February of 1999, and the teams played a shortened 50-game regular season.
Kerr joined a Spurs team that had a mix of young talent a veteran leadership. That season had a lot of success, finishing with a 37-13 record. Going into the playoffs, the Spurs only lost one game leading up to the 1999 NBA finals. In the finals, they matched up against the New York Knicks and defeated them 4-1. The Spurs lost a total of two games that year in the playoffs, and Kerr won his fourth consecutive championship.
Kerr would win one more NBA championship as a player with the Spurs in his last season in 2003. Overall, Kerr won five championships during his playing career. He had the opportunity to play on numerous successful teams, and he is the last NBA player to win four consecutive NBA finals.