Warriors coach Steve Kerr has seen a lot in the NBA. As a former NBA player, TV color analyst, and executive, he’s done a lot, too. Especially considering his eight NBA titles, three of them won as coach in Golden State and five as a player.
But when he got word via telephone that he’s the new head coach of the U.S. Men’s Basketball team, he got chills that only international competition can provide.
Here’s Kerr’s account of hearing the news personally. The official press release appeared on Monday after its contents had already been leaked to the press weeks earlier.
“It was a surprise, to be honest,” Kerr said. “It was a wonderful experience to be part of USA Basketball, but you just don’t stop and think, ‘Maybe I’ll be the head coach.’ It’s not something you even dream about. You just put your head down and work.
“So when this call came, it gave me chills. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”San Francisco Chronicle
That’s pretty awesome. Look at Kerr’s resume below. It’s a “surprise” to me that any basketball-related news could provide such emotion for the Warriors coach.
Kerr shouldn’t have been too taken aback by the news, given that he was coach Gregg Popovich’s No. 1 assistant at the Tokyo Olympics. But I understand his point. His new position isn’t one that coaches necessarily clamor for or strive to. It’s more of an honor for a lifetime of work.
Plus, it speaks to Kerr’s reputation in the NBA. USA Basketball wants to attract the best players in the league, and there has to be a coach in place that players would sacrifice personal time to play for.
And another consideration: will Warriors superstar Stephen Curry join his coach at the 2024 Olympics in France? Only time will tell, as Kerr continues to add wins to his resume on the way to basketball immortality.