If you’re not familiar with the life of Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and have wondered why he is so outspoken about issues like gun violence, Episode 9 of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” is for you.
As the documentary reached the 1997 NBA Finals, Kerr’s backstory came into focus. Particularly, the tragic death of his father.
Steve Kerr’s story was one of the high points of ‘The Last Dance’
During the segment, Kerr and his mother recalled him growing up with Malcolm Kerr and his father’s effect on his love of basketball. Kerr would later attend the University of Arizona while his father took over as president of American University of Beirut.
On Jan. 18, 1984, Malcolm Kerr was shot and killed by Islamic extremists. With the pain visible on his face, Kerr recounted finding out from his dorm room at Arizona. He was 18 at the time.
“So I received a phone call in the middle of the night from a family friend,” Kerr said. “My phone rang in my dorm at 3 o’clock in the morning, so I knew something was up. He just said, ‘Steve, I have terrible news.’ So ... yeah.
“Basketball was the one thing I could do to take my mind off what happened. So I went to practice the next day. I didn’t know what else to do.”
Fast forward to 1997, after going from little-recruited high-schooler to All-American and 50th overall pick to sharpshooting champion, Kerr got a pass from Jordan in the final seconds of Game 6 of the NBA Finals. With Adagio in D Minor playing in the documentary, Kerr did not miss.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 18, 2020
The documentary showed a victorious Kerr and his mother, then cut to his incredible parade speech.
In just a few minutes, “The Last Dance” showed Kerr’s beginnings, the lowest point of his life and the moment that made him immortal in Chicago. It was a powerful story, and one that received a strong reaction from those watching. Including one of Kerr’s own Warriors players.
This episode is an excellent reminder of why Steve Kerr hasn’t had to pay for a drink in Chicago for 23 years.
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) May 18, 2020
The Steve Kerr segment about his dad has me in tears. Man. Tonight be sure to tell your loved ones that you love them
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 18, 2020
Who’s ready to run through a wall for Steve Kerr?
— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) May 18, 2020
If any guy who lost their dad far too early just watched the Steve Kerr title clinching shot segment.. and DOESN’T have a tear or two in their eyes.. well, I’ll just say you are a very stoic soul. Wow. Need to regroup. #TheLastDance
— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) May 18, 2020
i love steve kerr with the purest part of my heart
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) May 18, 2020
Steve Kerr's players getting a real education right now about how much of an OG their coach is. Not was. Is. #TheLastDance
— Jason Goff (@Jason1Goff) May 18, 2020
Have often thought about how Steve Kerr has experienced more extreme highs and extreme lows than nearly anyone else I have ever met.
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 18, 2020
Hopefully people will remember this during the next Steve Kerr tweet that has nothing to do with sports
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) May 18, 2020
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