The Golden State Warriors have finalized an agreement for Steve Kerr, a 15-year NBA veteran and five-time NBA Champion as a player, to become the team’s new head coach, it was announced today. Kerr becomes the 25th head coach in franchise history and the 20th since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962.
“We’re very pleased to introduce Steve Kerr as our new head coach,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “We are confident that he will be an extremely good fit for our team and our organization as we venture into the future. The fact that he played for several of the greatest coaches in the history of the game – including Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich – will serve him well, as will the many nuances that he learned from performing on the brightest stage during his incredibly successful, championship-filled career.”
“I’m really excited about the unique opportunity to coach a very talented team and work for this committed management group,” said Kerr. “In my estimation, the Warriors, from top to bottom, have become one of the marquee organizations in the NBA in recent years. I’m looking forward to becoming part of that environment and building upon the success of the last two seasons.”
Kerr, 48, joins Golden State after spending the last four seasons as a color commentator with TNT, his second stint with the network. Prior to rejoining TNT in 2010, Kerr spent three seasons as the President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10, during which time the club posted a 155-91 (.630) record and a pair of playoff berths, including a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals.
Having made the playoffs 11 times during his playing career, Kerr is one of only 25 players in NBA history to win five championships, earning three rings with Chicago and two with San Antonio. A key reserve for Chicago during the team’s three-peat championship run from 1996-98, Kerr famously hit the game-winning, title-clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals. He won his fourth consecutive championship in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs to become one of only two non-Boston Celtics to win four-straight NBA titles. His fifth ring came in his second stint with the Spurs during his final NBA campaign in 2002-03. Overall, Kerr appeared in 128 postseason games, averaging 4.3 points and 1.2 assists while shooting 37.0 percent from three-point range.
The NBA’s all-time three-point percentage leader, having converted on 45.4 percent (726-of-1599) of his attempts from long range, Kerr amassed career averages of 6.0 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 910 regular-season games with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs (twice), and Portland Trail Blazers.
A native of Beirut, Lebanon, who grew up in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Kerr played four seasons at the University of Arizona, helping lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance during his senior season in 1988. An All-Pac 10 guard in both 1986 and 1988, he remains the school’s career leader in three-point field goal percentage (57.3). Kerr was also a member of the USA Basketball team that captured the 1986 World Championship in Madrid, the last American Men’s Senior National Team composed strictly of amateur players to capture a gold medal.
During his career, Kerr played for some of the most successful coaches in the history of the game, including Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Lenny Wilkens, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Lute Olson.