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.
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.
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