In a recent interview on a podcast hosted by former NBA player Omri Casspi, Steve Kerr discussed multiple things from his long and illustrious NBA career. Despite all the great stories Kerr shared about his time playing for the Bulls, and coaching the Golden State Warriors, both Casspi and Kerr remembered when they had a kid with cancer who came from Israel to watch the Warriors play.
When Casspi played for the Warriors during the 2017/18 season, he took care that the kid walks around the facility and meets as many players as possible. The kid was also a big fan of Steve Kerr, so Casspi made an introduction and was genuinely surprised by how Kerr handled the situation by showing empathy and understanding what the kid and his family were going through. He spent even more time with the kid than Caspi initially expected and arranged for them all sorts of commodities while there.
I come back 30,40 minutes after, and I see you still talking to the mom, and both of you had tears in your eyes, and I will never forget that picture. The next day you upgraded their tickets, brought them backstage to the VIP lounge. Klay came over, gave him signed shoes.Omri Casspi, via Omri Casspi Podcast
Unfortunately, the kid passed away just a few weeks after visiting the Warriors practice facility because the cancer was so advanced the doctors couldn’t do anything to help the kid. Casspi thanked Kerr for his kindness and did everything he could do to make the kid feel welcomed even though he didn’t have any obligation to do so.
A couple of weeks after that, the kid passed away. He had a really advanced cancer, and I don’t know if I ever told you, but thank you for this coach. It’s one of the most amazing things a human being can do and just thank you.Omri Casspi, via Omri Casspi Podcast
Steve Kerr is known around the NBA as one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet, and he showed the same qualities when meeting that kid. Kerr believes one of the main duties of NBA players and coaches is to bring joy to people of all ages and bring back to the community in any way they can.
You know, I’ve always felt that the most important thing that we can do as NBA players and coaches is to bring joy to people, our fans but more importantly to people who are struggling and who need to put a smile on their face and so I think we’ve always been really proactive about trying to invite people in the inner circle.Steve Kerr, via Omri Casspi Podcast
Even though this story has a sad ending since the kid didn’t survive his battle against cancer, it once again shows that Steve Kerr is truly a gem in the NBA community. There were previous accounts of his modesty and the fact that he is a down to earth guy, despite being one of the greatest winners and champions in NBA history. It also shows the fact NBA players are willing to help in any way they can, even though they seem distant to a lot of people.