While the assassination of his father left a terrible, long-lasting scar in his heart, it did not stop Steve Kerr from going on to achieve greatness in his life.
On September 27th, 1965, Stephen Douglas Kerr was born in Beirut to the American Malcolm H. Kerr and Ann Zwicker.
Because his family traveled a lot, Steve Kerr spent most of his childhood mainly in Beirut – where he attended the American Community School (ACS) – and other Middle Eastern cities.
When Kerr was an 18-year-old college freshman, he received the shocking news that his father had been killed in Beirut.
Up until that devastating event, “my life was impenetrable,” Kerr has said.
Nonetheless, life went on, and Steve Kerr slowly began his race to the top of his favorite sport’s food chain when he played basketball for the University of Arizona.
“Playing basketball took my thoughts away from what was going on,” Kerr, who played basketball with his father quite often as a child, has said in an interview after Malcolm’s shocking assassination.
He started playing for the university in 1983 and, three years later, he was chosen to play in the USA Basketball team that competed for and won a gold medal in the FIBA World Championship, in Spain.
The bittersweet match
After missing an entire season at the University of Arizona due to a knee injury, Steve Kerr returned to shine in a 1988 tournament when he led the Wildcats to victory, personally seizing 20 points in the first half of the game alone.
But, despite his great performance, Kerr found himself in a very tough spot during the match, when aggressive fans of his rivaling team began chanting “PLO” and “your father’s history” to break him down.
The decisive results of the match showed that the toxicity of those people did not serve its intended purpose, though it did cause him to tear-up during the game.
Following the sensitive incident, the athletic director of Arizona State sent an apology letter to the young Kerr.
After his remarkable performance with the Wildcats, Steve Kerr began to build a solid reputation as an outstanding player in the NBA.
Between 1988 and his retirement in 2003, Steve Kerr played for several prominent NBA teams, most notably the Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs.
Over the same period, Kerr won five NBA championships and held the NBA record for the highest three-point percentage in a season (52.4%). Furthermore, he holds the highest career three-point percentage (45.4%) in NBA history.
His legendary career did not end with his retirement as a player, though. Between 2007 and 2010, Steve Kerr served as the Phoenix Suns’ president of basketball operations and general manager.
Four years after leaving The Suns, Kerr was named the Golden State Warriors’ head coach, which he led to a historical win against the Dallas Mavericks in 2015.
With that win, the Steve Kerr broke the NBA record of the most regular-season wins for a rookie coach.
Since then, he has broken several other records and won 3 additional NBA championships as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, which he remains to this day.