Steve Kerr reminisced about how winning Michael Jordan his fifth ring changed his life. His shot against the Jazz helped him sign better contracts.
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know that the Michael Jordan-led Bulls won 6 championships. This wouldn’t have been possible without great teammates, and Steve Kerr ranks among MJ’s best teammates of all time.
There was a passion and a fire to how MJ led his teams. This confrontational attitude led to him and Kerr having a fight during a practice session. Ironically, the bust-up served to bring the Bulls closer, in Kerr’s own words.
Proof of this came about in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals. MJ found the perfect pocket pass for Kerr after attracting a crowd of defenders, giving him the open 3-pointer for the championship.
Steve Kerr opens up about how his shot after a Michael Jordan pass in 1997 changed his life
Kerr discussed the impact of this groundbreaking shot on his own career last year. This came about on an episode of Showtime Basketball’s ‘All the Smoke’ podcast hosted by Matt Barnes.
Given how Barnes has already played under Kerr, the two shared a great relationship even better the interview. Naturally, Kerr felt comfortable in opening up about how his career trajectory changed with that shot:
“(That shot) led to another contract. I was a free agent a couple of years later, and the Spurs gave me a five-year contract which was the most money I ever made in my career, which allowed me to buy a house in San Diego and take care of my family.”
“So, it changed a lot of things. I think hitting that shot probably got me my job in TV, you know, because playing for the Bulls and having a big moment took me from a place of relative obscurity to, ‘Oh, we know that guy.’ So, that season, those years in Chicago and hitting that shot, it all added up to kind of giving me a boost to another level in my own career and life.”
Kerr obviously went on to find more championship success when he moved on from the Chicago Bulls. He won his 4th straight championship in 1999 alongside Tim Duncan and the Admiral. His 5th championship ring came in 2003, which was also MJ’s final NBA season ever.
Kerr has since gone on to become the GM for the Phoenix Suns. After a successful stint there and then in the commentary booth with TNT, Kerr is now one of the best head coaches in the game.