Steve Kerr hit on how he first made impact with Cavs in ‘The Last Dance’

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson jokes with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson jokes with Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In the ninth episode of “The Last Dance,” former Chicago Bull and Michael Jordan teammate, Steve Kerr, stressed how he first made an impact with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Even as a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, it was a pleasure to watch The Last Dance, which was a 10-part documentary series that highlighted the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, of which Michael Jordan was fittingly in a leading role.

The docuseries, which was syndicated on ESPN, just finished up with its’ ninth and 10th episodes on Sunday, and the series was so captivating for so many. That was even more so, given how the season is currently on a novel coronavirus-induced hiatus and it’s uncertain if the 2019-20 campaign will resume.

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There were plenty of cameos from the likes of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and most recently, Reggie Miller, along with other stars, but it was also cool to see role players that played with MJ, such as B.J. Armstrong, Bill Wennington, John Paxson and Steve Kerr, be featured a considerable amount as well.

From a Cavs’ fan’s perspective, what was particularly interesting to see touched on a bit was Kerr stressing how the first time he made a real impact in the NBA was on the Cavaliers.

After only appearing in 26 games and playing 6.0 minutes per outing with the Phoenix Suns as a rookie, Kerr was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers before the 1989-90 season.

As a backup point guard, Kerr helped out the Cavs’ rotation and often gave Mark Price a breather, and he fit in well as a shooter and ball-mover for Cleveland head coach Lenny Wilkens.

That was in plenty of minutes alongside the likes of Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Craig Ehlo, Hot Rod Williams, Chucky Brown,  and some with Price as well.

In Kerr’s three-plus seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, he had 6.0 points, 2.7 assists per game in 18.4 minutes per outing, and shot a scorching 47.2 percent from three-point range, per Basketball Reference. The Cavs ended up dealing Kerr to the Orlando Magic at the beginning of the 1992-93 campaign for a future second-round pick, but it was again nice to hear Kerr stress how his first real shot at making his presence felt was in Cleveland.

Kerr did of course have a considerable impact in the postseason in a number of instances with the Bulls, including hitting the clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals. That was quite a moment for him, as in that ninth episode of The Last Dance, as Blue Man Hoop’s Tony Pesta hit on, it was a heck of a moment for Kerr’s career, and even more so as he did have “a heartbreaking segment dedicated to his father who was tragically taken from his family too early.”

Kerr, who had 8.2 points and 2.2 assists per game and shot 47.9 percent from three-point range with Chicago and was a part of their second three-peat, also touched on how he wanted to fill John Paxson’s role as a key spot-up shooter alongside MJ, and how Paxson mentored him in his last NBA season, as Pesta mentioned.

Post-Bulls, Kerr won two other NBA championships with Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs and played a year with the Portland Trail Blazers. Kerr is also no stranger to even younger Cleveland Cavaliers fans for him being the Golden State Warriors head coach.

Kerr and the Dubs won three out of four NBA Finals’ series against LeBron James and the Cavs from 2015-2018. Even so, I’m forever grateful for LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Richard Jefferson and the Wine and Gold completing a historic 3-1 comeback over Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kerr’s Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Moreover, Kerr has always seemed very appreciative of his playing days alongside Price, Nance and those late 1980’s/early 1990’s Cavs, which played such a fun, team-first brand of basketball.

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Thankfully for Steve, his ultra-competitive style also meshed well with Jordan and those Bulls later on in this case when discussing The Last Dance, too.