Saturday, June 25, 2022

Magic Johnson makes big Steve Kerr statement after Warriors win title

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Several heroes emerged during the Golden State Warriors’ wild march back to their old place as the NBA’s class. First and foremost, Stephen Curry deserves every bit of credit he gets after returning from a late-season injury to take his team to the top of the mountain.

Then there was Klay Thompson returning to form after his 941-day sabbatical, Andrew Wiggins clearing any doubts about his game after a rocky start in Minnesota, Kevon Looney’s Ironman performance, Gary Payton II’s rise, Draymond, the Draymond things done and so on.

However, Steve Kerr’s performance as head coach deserves special mention – not only in relation to this particular playoff run, but also in historical context.

Kerr had already been named the top 15 coach of all time for the NBA’s 75th anniversary, alongside playcallers such as Gregg Popovich, Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach. But his most recent championship win may have put him at the top of the list.

At least one of the greatest players in basketball history brings Kerr to his own personal chart in Magic Johnson.

The morning after the Dubs’ win over the Boston Celtics, the Magic man took to Twitter with his updated Mount Rushmore of NBA coach. And Warriors fans will no doubt give him a pass for having an extra name alongside the traditional four-person rushmore when Kerr made the cut.

“GSW head coach Steve Kerr is the NBA coach on my Mount Rushmore with Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach and [Gregg] Popovich”, Johnson tweeted.

At this point, it’s hard to argue with Kerr’s inclusion in this or any other list of the greatest coaches of all time. In eight years as coach of Golden State, Kerr has amassed a 68.2 regular-season win ratio — the fourth-best mark of all time — and led his club to six finals and four championships.

Numbers aside, however, the former sharpshooter has built a reputation for bringing out the best in his players. Just ask her.

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Few players have experienced the kind of career resurgence we’ve seen from Wiggins since he moved to the Bay Area from the Twin Cities. And after the Warriors raised their trophy, the former No. 1 overall left little doubt about Kerr’s role in the transformation.

“Man, you’re talking about one of the greatest coaches of all time. The way he challenges his players but supports them is amazing,” Wiggins said after the game. “He gives his players confidence and empowers his players to be successful. So I am definitely grateful to Steve Kerr.”

Looney echoed that sentiment.

“Coach means the world to me,” Looney said. “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs in my career since I’ve been here, being drafted here and being here for seven years and being able to learn from him and he’s a guy, he’s always told me, ‘Your chance is coming, just use it when it comes.’

“He is a great mentor and coach for me and the whole team. Steve deserves a lot of credit.”


“He is a great mentor and coach for me and the whole team. Steve deserves a lot of credit.”

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