Steve Kerr on John Stockton: “He was a dirty bastard”

Steve Kerr on John Stockton: “He was a dirty bastard”

Nowadays, Steve Kerr is more known as a great coach and the brain behind the Golden State Warriors winning three championships than for his playing career. Kerr was never a franchise cornerstone, but he had a role on a few of the best teams ever, won five championships, and made big plays when it mattered the most, most notably with the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the ’90s. During their second three-peat, Kerr was one of the key players from the bench, bringing his shooting ability to the mighty Bulls led by Jordan, Pippen, and the crew.

Even though the league was packed with talent in the ’90s, there was one guy Kerr hated to face but played him numerous times in essential situations. One of the best point guards ever, John Stockton. Stockton had an illustrious career, being the epitome of a point guard and becoming the all-time leader in assists and steals. The only knock you could pin him was not winning a championship.

Even though he is well known as a nice guy outside the court, when he stepped inside those lines, Stockton was a bad man ready to do anything to win, and Kerr knew all about it. The Bulls would play the Jazz in two straight Finals in 1997 and 1998, matching up the two guards. Kerr himself described how that went a few years ago on Open Court while talking about the subject of players you hate to face:

“We played Utah two years in a row, twelve games against John Stockton. I have the greatest respect for him. I see him away from the court. Love him. Great guy. But he was a dirty bastard! I’ve never seen a therapist about this. This is my time,”

Steve Kerr, Open Court

He maybe didn’t look like it, but Stockton had that sneaky dirty style of play, knowing how and when to hit you without anyone noticing and not backing down from anybody. But it didn’t help him in those Finals, as he underperformed in both of them, averaging just 12.3ppg and 8.6apg on 45,5% from the floor in those games. As a result, the Jazz lost both of those Finals, allowing Steve Kerr to have the last laugh and being able to talk about his tough battles with Stockton with a smile on his face.