Now Steve Kerr is suited and sidelined, watching another dominant duo dazzle defenders. This time, he's not wearing retro short shorts. He's guiding Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, while coaching the Golden State Warriors.
It's only his first season with the Warriors, but Durant already looks like the leader of the team, which set the NBA record for wins in a single season in 2016. But it's his flow with his superstar sharpshooter sidekick that makes this team most impressive. With three NBA MVP awards and five scoring titles between them, Curry and Durant have a chance to become one of the most decorated duo's in league history. That's something only a few men can judge. Kerr could be one of them.
"The comparison is that you have two stars who complement each other well," Kerr said Monday, after the Warriors lost to the Miami Heat in Miami. "They are different in the way that they play, but they play well together. I haven't really thought of that comparison, but the whole key anytime you get two great players together is that it has to work. It has to fit. It doesn't always fit easily. But these guys fit together really smoothly."
Kerr won three titles with Jordan and Pippen. His first year with the Bulls came during Jordan's first 'retirement." He then watched 'His Airness" pick up three more MVP awards.
On Monday, the Warriors failed to stop Dion Waiters down the stretch. Neither superstar took over in the fourth quarter, despite Durant's game-tying dunk with seconds remaining. The Warriors ended the contest with an air-mailed Curry 3-point attempt.
"Michael didn't allow that to happen," Kerr said. "There were plenty of games during that three-year stretch where he decided to lift us up. We were going to win that night and all the rest of us were not bringing a whole lot."
"I think for our team, Draymond [Green] is that guy. It's obviously very different. Michael did it with his intensity and competitiveness, but also his skill...Draymond does it with his defense, his energy, and his competitive fire. On nights where we don't have it, he tends to lift us up and kind of get us over the hump."
The Warriors [38-7] were already a "finished product" at this point last season, according to Kerr. Durant chalked up the defeat to being "an NBA loss on a Monday" and said the team needs experience. He added that being lit up by his former teammate didn't sit well.
"It feels [expletive]," Durant said. "But I don't even know why I'm saying this, but anybody hitting the game winner against me it would be Dion Waiters. You've gotta tip the hat to him. He made big shots all game. He was aggressive, had his jumper going and didn't hit the rim tonight. Straight in. A lot of his threes were step back three in the corner. I think that was a huge shot. He was great tonight I got to give him credit. He gave me a little wink after he hit that three. [Expletive] sucks seeing it go through the rim but I guess the big brother in me can kind of smile on that one."