AFC Richmond coach Ted Lasso once said: “That’s the funny thing about coincidences, ain’t it? Sometimes they just happen."
Coincidentally, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has ties to the hit Apple TV show "Ted Lasso."
During media day last week, Kerr revealed that his son, Matthew, had worked in the show's writers room. The Athletic's Kavitha Davidson caught up with Matthew Kerr to discuss his work on the show, and he revealed a funny story about the time his father once made an appearance in a writer's meeting.
"I don’t really talk about it [Steve Kerr being his father] until it comes up somehow," Kerr said. "And usually I’m not the first one to bring it up. But my dad, we were on Zoom, and I was in my room and he came in the doors behind me to ask for a pair of headphones while I was at work. And I was like, 'Get out! Don’t bother me!' And then I gave him a pair of headphones and was like, 'Scram!' And then people recognized him via Zoom. So I was like, 'Well, that’s the end of that.'
"But yeah, it’s fun to talk about once it is sort of brought up or whatever. Like, it’s never at the forefront of my mind when I’m working or anything, but it does kind of give me room to talk about sports experiences from my own perspective."
Years prior to the show's existence, Matthew actually had met Jason Sudeikis -- the actor who plays Ted Lasso -- at a Warriors road game against the Brooklyn Nets, Kerr told Davidson. Since then, Matthew had stayed in touch with the two-time Emmy winner, who presented him with an opportunity to work on the show's second season.
"I had known Jason Sudeikis throughout college, and he had sent me books, and we had kind of kept in contact after meeting, and he was just incredibly friendly," Kerr told Davidson. "And we’d exchange letters sometimes and whatever else. That sounds like we’re in the Victorian era, but it’s true.
"And then it really was kind of a blessing that he just kind of called me up one day and said, 'Hey, do you want to work on this show for the second season? The first season hasn’t come out yet, probably nothing out of it. It’s this cool show.' And I was like, 'Yeah, absolutely, of course.' And then the first season aired while we were in the room for Season 2, and then it kind of became this thing that everyone started watching. And that was a really cool feeling because I was just like — I’ve felt very fortunate to be along for the ride and have the ride be pretty damn exciting."
You might be surprised to learn that Matthew, son of an eight-time NBA champion, doesn't consider himself a sports fan.
"I’m not at all a sports person — that’s important to note," Kerr said. "My knowledge of sports is limited, which actually made being on 'Ted Lasso' really fun because I think a lot of the people in the room are like that as well, where they’re more interested in the humanities side of sports and sort of how relationships are built or fall apart."
In a Season 1 episode of Ted Lasso titled "Two Aces," Coach Lasso, played by Sudeikis, goes on to pay homage to NBA superstar Allen Iverson's memorable "practice" rant.
Matthew, not being a sports fan, didn't pick up on the reference upon watching the episode for the first time. Having later watched with his father and his brother, Nick, the two elder Kerrs had a good laugh at the bit, while Matthew was unaware of its origin.
"I did not understand the Allen Iverson speech in the first season," Kerr said. "I thought it was funny when it was happening, but I didn’t understand it was a reference to a very popular piece of sports history. And then only upon rewatching it with my dad and my brother — and they were dying laughing — was I like, 'Oh, this is a sports reference that I will need explained to me.' "
So, the Warriors' championship coach now has a connection to one of the most popular TV shows right now. Similar to Coach Lasso, Kerr also has a great relationship with his players. Kerr, though, has experienced a lot more success than the fictional soccer coach.