This Day In Sports: Kerr is cut from a different NBA cloth

January 26, 2019, five years ago today: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors becomes the fastest coach to 300 wins—377 games—in the history of professional sports after a 115-111 victory over the Boston Celtics. At that point Kerr was an astounding 300-77 in the regular season with three NBA championships in just 4½ years as the Warriors’ head coach. The previous NBA record was held by Pat Riley, who needed 416 games to reach his 300th win. In the other major sports, it took Frank Chance (Major League Baseball) 426 games, Don Shula (NFL) 442 games, and Bruce Boudreau (NHL) 496 games to notch 300 victories.

At that point, Kerr had guided Golden State to three NBA championships in four years and led the Warriors to the league’s single-season record with 73 regular season wins in 2015-16, when he was voted Coach of the Year. It was almost 10 years ago that Kerr took the Warriors’ head coaching job, his first at any level. His career record is now 492-260 in the regular season, and he’s gone 99-41 in the postseason. Kerr has always seemed like an elite college coach in NBA clothes with the way he molds players and creates chemistry. You just don’t see that.

As a player, Kerr was one of the most accurate three-point shooters in basketball history. He won four NBA titles as a Chicago Bull and one more in his final season as a San Antonio Spur in 2003. But you probably know his backstory. Kerr was born in Lebanon, and his father, Malcomb, president of the American University of Beirut, was assassinated by Islamic jihadists in 1984. Steve Kerr was a freshman at Arizona at the time. He’s been steely-focused—in hoops and in life—ever since. He was certainly dialed in at U of A. As a senior with the Wildcats, Kerr set the NCAA record for three-point percentage at an amazing 57.1 percent.

What makes Kerr special has really come into focus the past week as the Warriors mourn the sudden death of beloved assistant coach Dejan Milojević. “He’s just very human,” Stephen Curry told The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. “I mean that in the way of basketball is important but it’s not and has never been the priority when it comes to his ability to manage people, his staff, the team, manage up, manage down. So in light of a traumatic experience like this, that shines bright. Because he has a way with words that are authentic—taking care of each other, putting the person before anything.”

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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