Steve Kerr has had the luxury of working around some of the greatest basketball talents the NBA has ever seen. Either playing with them, coaching them, or being the behind the scenes guy surrounding them with talent, Kerr has had the first-hand experience with the best the game of basketball has had to offer.
During his tenure with the Chicago Bulls, Steve shared a locker room with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. He also played with Tim Duncan while with the Spurs and served as the general manager of the Phoenix Suns with league MVP Steve Nash. Kerr then became the coach of the Golden State Warriors, or what had soon become the greatest collection of talent the league has ever seen.
It’s hard to find an NBA persona who’s been around as many basketball greats as Steve Kerr. It’s a lengthy list, to say the least, but according to Steve himself, there’s a standout on it.
“I would say, Kevin Durant, when you factor in everything, size, speed, athleticism, I think he’s the most talented basketball player I’ve ever seen in my life. It was more just a level of basketball that I’m not sure had ever been reached before.”Steve Kerr, The Ringer
This is coming from a guy who played alongside Michael Jordan and had a court-side view of the greatness that was No.23. However, Kerr still went with KD. Now, don’t get it twisted, this isn’t about their all-time rankings, nor about who was a better individual player. This was purely about a God-given talent each of the guys Kerr’s been around possessed. And the Warriors’ coach picked his former player, rather than his former teammate.
Steve continued with the Kevin Durant praise, despite the 6-10 superstar not being a part of the Warriors organization anymore. He touched upon Durant’s coachability and his fit with Golden State, which made their historically great run possible.
“He was very coachable. He was a sponge, especially the first year, he wanted to learn a new style. I think he really enjoyed playing the way we played, and he was really easy to coach. When a star makes it easy, for a coach to do his job, he just allows everything to click. And so, that first year, I think one of the reasons we were so dominant was because we had that dynamic across the board between Steph, Klay, Draymond, Kevin, we had it all lined up and everybody was on board and clicking, and it was a smooth ride.”Steve Kerr, The Ringer
A smooth ride indeed, as KD’s Warriors had a three-year stretch of making the Finals, winning two championships in the process. That’s before Durant went down with an injury, and their run was officially over by the power of Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.
Thus ended Durant’s tenure in Golden State, as he decided to switch coasts and join the Brooklyn Nets, alongside Kyrie Irving. He’s yet to play a game with the Nets but is set to return at the start of the 20/21 NBA season. Hopefully at the peak of his powers just as he was before the Achilles tear.