Moral authority Steve Kerr: The NBA's most notable voice

With his emotional speech against gun violence, Steve Kerr drew attention far beyond the basketball world.

Moral authority Steve Kerr: The NBA's most notable voice

With his emotional speech against gun violence, Steve Kerr drew attention far beyond the basketball world. The most respected coach of the NBA's top team, the Golden State Warriors, suffered a tragic loss early in his life.

When Steve Kerr banged on the table two weeks ago, expressing his frustration and sadness at the shootings and lax US gun laws, it came from the bottom of his heart. The basketball coach of the Golden State Warriors, who are currently playing the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals for their fourth championship of Kerr's tenure, has been a passionate advocate for stricter gun control for years - and that's partly because his father once was died in an assassination attempt. Kerr was 18 and going to college.

"When are we going to do something?" Kerr yelled at the pre-playoff press conference against the Dallas Mavericks, where he got up and left at the end of his emotional speech. "I'm fed up, I've had enough!" The reason was the school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, where an 18-year-old shot 19 children and two adults. Before and after the second game in the Finals against the Celtics, Kerr gave his interviews dressed in an orange T-shirt that read "END GUN VIOLENCE." It's time "that people took notice and got involved in what should be a nationwide effort to curb gun violence out there. And there are ways to limit that."

Professional athletes and teams from other US leagues have also recently commented on the subject - but few can do so as well as the 56-year-old Kerr, who can also refer to interest groups and draft laws. "What he said is extremely authentic," said Warriors manager Bob Myers "The Athletic" on the sidelines of the finals about Kerr's speech, which received a lot of attention around the world. "It was absolutely authentic and real. People saw that and they saw someone who really cares about this country and the laws in it and wants to see a change."

When Kerr speaks, people listen - fans and highly paid NBA stars like Stephen Curry alike. The father of three is intelligent, has a high level of knowledge of human nature and, after 15 years as a player in the NBA and in his eighth year as a coach, has an enormous wealth of experience.

As a professional, he was part of the Chicago Bulls around Michael Jordan, who were the measure of all things in the 1990s and twice won three titles in a row. Kerr has been on the field in more than 900 games as a professional. According to the "Los Angeles Times" only 30 times from the start, but he still won five championships as an important role player. In 1997 he hit the decisive shot to triumph for the Bulls. In addition, there are the three titles as coach of the Warriors.

For a long time he was the assistant coach of the US national team at the Olympic Games and there in the unusual role of not the boss, but the assistant for his sponsor Gregg Popovich. Seeing how other top NBA coaches -- the coaching staff included longtime San Antonio Spurs head coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat -- interacted with the star-packed roster has helped him tremendously, Kerr often said. At the upcoming games in Paris 2024, he himself will be the head coach of the national team.

Because his parents were teachers in Lebanon at the time, Kerr was born in Beirut and spent the early years of his life in that region of the world so different from California, where he eventually went to high school. The experiences broadened his horizon early on and established his understanding for people of different backgrounds and beliefs.

Along with his sophistication and intellect, people who interact with Kerr appreciate his sense of humor. "My parents (...) taught me to understand people, to be understanding and respectful. They taught me that people can speak differently and dress differently or have habits that are foreign to me. And that it It was important not only to understand all these differences, but to accept them," he once said years ago.

And then said, "That came in very handy when, years later, Dennis Rodman became my teammate with the Chicago Bulls." Rodman with his temper, his tattoos, his hairstyles and his unconventional manner is one of the most flamboyant players in NBA history. Kerr seemed inconspicuous and well-behaved next to it, he had already earned a lot of respect back then.

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