Coaching Steve Kerr - Reflections On My Time With the NBA's Greatest Shooter
The 1985-86 season was just the third of many years that Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olson would roam the sidelines at Arizona. The rebuilding process began two years earlier and mapped out a great future path for the program. Among those who Olson signed late in the spring of 1983 was Steve Kerr, an "Opie" Taylor look alike from Southern California. He had caught the eye of Olson during a late summer league game with his ability to shoot from all over the floor. Minus a step of quickness and a load of athleticism, Kerr jumped at the opportunity and enrolled at Arizona that fall.
Not long after hitting campus it was evident that Kerr had the makings of a special player. He had the knowledge and moxy of a veteran NBA guard to go along with his long range shooting ability. He assimilated into the Wildcat program with ease and became a leader immediately on and off the floor. Kerr was beginning his third season at college the fall we joined the Arizona staff.
Immediately after arriving in Tucson I charged full speed into my new position. A self proclaimed organization freak, I got set up in my new office. Actually it was a film room with a narrow table propped up against the wall. I would have worked in the dugout of the Jerry Kindall baseball field if I had to. Taking on every task imaginable filled my days as I settled in. My running mate, Tom Billeter, was also a graduate assistant and we became inseparable for the next two years. Recruiting, practice, weights, conditioning, study table, and game preparation were all part of the job and we embraced it 24 hours a day.
A month into our first season I began to get comfortable with the staff and team. Six freshmen dotted the roster including high school All-American Sean Elliott of nearby Cholla HS. It was evident early on that Kerr was as nasty and competitive as they come. Nasty in the sense that nothing he was associated with would be defeated, a trait that coaches covet. When a mother duck feels threatened she will do anything to protect her little ones. The same held true for Kerr. As an Arizona Wildcat basketball player, you had mother goose on your side. Kerr was the mother goose who proudly and fiercely protected and represented his flock.
As the season progressed it was evident that his Wildcat team had the ability to be very special. Midway through the conference season, whispers of a championship were heard all around the Pac-10. Finally, the stage was set in balmy LA for a match with the legendary UCLA Bruins. Having to win at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion was the only obstacle that stood between the Wildcats and a championship. The Bruins had Reggie Miller and just for luck, retired Hall of Famer John Wooden sat opposite our bench in his favorite spot. We had a future Hall of Famer in Lute Olson and a team led by Kerr that would not be denied. In winning the game in Los Angeles that night, Kerr proved himself as King of the Cats. No one expected this youth-laden team to make noise this year. Maybe down the road, but not this season, fans thought. We flew home that night with the Pac-10 championship trophy and a taste for champaign.
Adjectives are often tossed toward players who reek of this rare leadership ability. The coach on the floor, the general, or the glue are terms television announcers use. Steve Kerr was all of these wrapped up into one neat package. On top of that, his public image was an A+ as was his ability to speak like a Senator. Too good to be true? The icing on the cake was his ability to orchestrate his team to victory and of course, his jump shot. I have fond memories of Kerr the perfectionist, shooting threes around the perimeter in quiet McKale Center late at night. Each night's shooting success depended on meeting his self inflicted percentage goals. He forced himself to shoot when tired and would continue at his task until the goal was met. Never say die was his motto and he lived it every night in the shadows of his home court. Steve made us all proud when he ended his 13 year NBA career as the leading all-time three point percentage shooter. His most famous shot came off a nifty Michael Jordan pass in game 6 of the 1997 Championship series. This buzzer beater sealed one of the Chicago Bulls historic six World Titles. Never have I been around nor had the chance to coach a player who possessed all of these qualities. Very few coaches ever do.
Related Tags: basketball, coaching, leader, coach, arizona, kerr, 3 point shooting, chicago bulls, nba title, lute olson
Randy Brown has dedicated his life to the game of basketball. His 18 years in college basketball highlights a successful 23-year career. Coaching positions at Arizona, Iowa State, Marquette, Drake, and Miami of Ohio fill his resume. Mentored by Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson at Arizona, he learned the game from the best. At 39, Randy became the head coach at Division I Stetson University in Deland, Florida. His efforts have helped develop 12 NBA players including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, and Jaamal Tinsley. His passion for mentoring young coaches and developing youth programs is known and respected throughout the country. Over the years he has authored over 50 articles on coaching basketball and has taught over 24,000 young players in summer camps and clinics. He works as a basketball consultant and mentor for coaches. He is also an author and public speaker. Randy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
Recent articles in this category:
- Oklahoma City Thunder With a Bad Starting
The triumphs and achievements obtain by the Seattle Supersonics are left behind now they finished t
- Los Angles Lakers Tickets
Los Angeles Lakers Los Angeles Lakers is one of the most successful teams in the entire history of
- Nba - Shaquille O'neal Still Has Something to Offer to the Nba
The "Big Diesel" of 36 years-old and four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O'Neal still has something t
- Nba - Rudy Fernandez Could be the Surprise for the Blazers and the Nba Season
The Spaniard superstar of 23 years old, Rudy Fernandez, could be the surprise for this NBA season a
- Basketball Training Made Easy
Basketball season is around the corner and thousands of players coming back to the court need a ref
- Basketball Basics
Basketball Basics Below is some basic information about basketballs to give you an idea of what's o
- What's the Score?
It's easy to understand that portable electronic scoreboards are an integral part of many sports.
- Nba - Warriors Suspended Ellis for 30 Games
The star player of the Golden State Warriors of 22 years old Monta Ellis, will be suspended for at
- Dallas Mavericks Stomp the Washington Wizards
The Mavericks are looking as dominate as ever as they closed out the Washington Wizards last night.
- Basketball Game Courts and Putting Greens Come Home
For years now the idea of having a realistic synthetic putting green or a basketball court in your
Most viewed articles in this category:
- Joakim Noah - Is it See Ya Later Alligator?
As the Florida Gators sailed to their second consecutive NCAA championship on April 2, 2007, those o
- Jump Higher-Improve Vertical Jump
To start off with, I get people all the time complementing me on how much higher I can jump than I u
- The 30 Minute Practice Test - Would You Pass or Fail?
The incredible thing about being a basketball coach is the unlimited supply of information and resou
- 10 Tips For Getting Your Basketball Team Focused Motivated And Playing Hard
"Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who win get inside thei
- The Key To Defensive Success - Mastering Screens
Screening is a major offensive weapon in today's game. Teams that are able to stretch defenses with
- The American Basketball Association Becomes a Publicly Traded Company
It wasn't too long ago when basketball was a genuine sport, great players that projected positive im
- Where Have All the Gym Rats Gone?
With the advent of technological advances in our world, our lives have become easier and more comfor
- West Dominates NBA
The Western Conference is looking like titans already in 2006-07. The Eastern Conference teams are b
- 5 Coaching Tips for Successful Basketball Drills
Tip #1 - Make The Drill More Competitive.Many players thrive on competition and it's a great way to
- Four Secrets Of Great Post Play
Search any library, bookstore, or the internet on the topic of basketball and you will find thousand