Steve Kerr gets emotional in 'Last Dance' recalling dad's 1984 murder

Ali Thanawalla
NBC Sports BayArea

On the court, Michael Jordan and Steve Kerr didn't have much in common, in terms of their skillsets.

But off the court, the two former Chicago Bulls players both had to deal with unspeakable tragedy in their life.

For Kerr, his father Malcolm was murdered in Beirut in 1984. Nine years later, James Jordan was murdered in North Carolina.

Despite that connection, Kerr and Jordan never spoke to each other about their fathers.

"We never discussed that," Kerr said during episode No. 9 of ESPN's "The Last Dance" on Sunday. "I think it was probably too painful for each of us."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steve was a freshman at the University of Arizona when Malcolm, who was the president at the American University of Beirut, was assassinated by extremists.

"So, I received a phone call in the middle of the night from a family friend," Kerr recalled as he started to get choked up. "My phone rang at my door at 3 o'clock in the morning, so I knew something was up and he just said 'Steve, I have terrible news.' So, yeah."

[RELATED: Kerr's views shaped by dad's death]

Steve used basketball to get himself through the grief.

"Basketball was the one thing I could do to take my mind off what happened," Steve said. "So I went to practice the next day. I didn't know what else to do."

Steve Kerr gets emotional in 'Last Dance' recalling dad's 1984 murder originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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