Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 12:00 pm  |  13 responses

Steve Kerr’s Redemption

Kerr is currently sitting on top of the world, but as the Arizona Republic details, it’s been one long, strange journey for him and the Suns: “The Suns’ sweep of San Antonio and advancement to the Western Conference finals suddenly has made the general manager the toast of the pro basketball community. They did it in part with the scrappy play, a longer bench and a defensive focus Kerr longed for from the start. He took a circumventive route to reach his goal, but Kerr can be at peace that his vision was sound. ‘From the beginning, I knew we had an explosive offense and an excellent team,’ said Kerr, who took over three years ago. ‘Those last four, five years under Mike (D’Antoni) were really, really good. I also knew from my own experience that defense and depth are so important.’ It was a philosophy he learned while winning five NBA titles and playing under Phil Jackson in Chicago and Gregg Popovich in San Antonio. It was hard to convince D’Antoni, who was confident that his up-tempo, short-bench approach needed minimal adjustments. What followed was an unexpected parting of ways by two of the more-likeable guys in the league. The pair’s time with the Suns overlapped for just a year, preventing the two from developing “the foundation and relationship to get through that stuff,” Kerr said. ‘(D’Antoni’s departure) hurt me, because I knew a lot of it was my fault, and a lot of it was circumstantial. The NBA is weird, crazy. There is so much pressure, and that’s why it’s just critical to have strong relationship between the owner, the coach and the GM.’ That’s one reason this season has been a success. Kerr and coach Alvin Gentry shared the same vision and from the start and communicated frequently about how to get there. Throw in some personnel moves that have paid off – from acquiring Jason Richardson, Channing Frye, Jared Dudley and Lou Amundson to drafting Robin Lopez and securing Goran Dragic in a draft-day trade – and suddenly no one is talking about Shaquille O’Neal and Terry Porter anymore. ‘I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me when everyone was saying what an idiot I was, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to hear the good stuff now,’ he said. ‘The end result is, ‘OK, I see how this kind of works. I’m not that stupid and I’m not smart.’ I’m just pleased we’ve got a nice thing going, and I’m happy for our players.’”

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  • riggs

    blame kerr on the negatives, cause it damn sure wasnt his fault on the positives happening now. The reason why theyre doing so good is because they ran AWAY from HIS plan.

  • LA Huey

    Marion forced Kerr’s hand with all his whining. He had to get rid of that cancer. People wanted to say he destroyed the Suns but it started with Marion. Trading for Shaq was a bad gambit and the rest could be attributed to him but it started with ‘The Matrix’

  • dsleepy

    cheers steve. class act as a player, good to see you doin’ well as an exec.

  • Vikturus

    True story. First?

  • http://stokely-carmichael.com giemmevi

    Steve did a good job forming a real team!

  • http://sfdjklf.com Jukai

    Kerr’s either a genius or an idiot.
    Yep, still going with idiot.
    Kerr may be a decent GM… Richardson/Dudley trade was great, signing Frye was a smart, savvy move… but he still f’d up the Suns by trying to change the entire mindset of a team that was solely created for half a decade to play the opposite style. He gave up and said “whatever, just run…” and now he’s inadvertently getting credit for the new semi-defensive mindset the Suns have that ALVIN GENTRY GAVE THE TEAM. Kerr didn’t place any new pieces for the new half-court kick-around offense they have, or the defense they play. Dragic came before Kerr came and Dudley was suppose to be a shoe-in in the Richardson trade.
    So yeah, give Kerr a pat on the back for some savvy moves, but he didn’t CREATE the new “we can play some defense and some half court while outrunning you” Suns. That’s Gentry.

  • Robb

    Kerr can thank Gentry for that. Too bad his road to redemption will end very soon.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I could care less about the Suns so I ain’t gonna speak on that, but I had the privilege of meeting Kerr in person when I was 12 years old back in ’96 just weeks after we won the title over Seattle – dude is the one of the most down-to-earth and one of the funniest NBA players ever. Kerr still gets MAD love from the Chi.

  • riggs

    @Enigmatic: cool story bro’

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    my 3rd favorite player on the 2nd 3-peat Bulls. he was an insightful analyst when he was with TNT. he’s about 54 million light years ahead of Reggie in that regard.

  • Homie

    Albie, my grandmother is 54 million light years ahead of Reggie in that regard, and she’s dead.

  • The Ghost of Wilt Chamberlain

    Anyone remember the speech he gave after hitting the game winner in game 6 against Utah? He is a great public speaker, genuine, personable and humorous. Great guy who’s done a solid job in Pheonix. Will be interesting to see how they fare against the juggernaughts from LA

  • http://www.nba.com/suns Dacre

    He was a very lucky man to get this ship back around the right way. Mind you he was foolish for having it turned in the first place…