Warriors coach Steve Kerr has experienced a lifetime's worth of success on the court, and then some.
As a player and coach, Kerr has won eight NBA titles, five of which were won playing for the iconic 90s Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. Kerr's three championships won as head coach of the Warriors has him ranked fifth among the league's winningest players/coaches.
Known for his winning shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals, Kerr had a reputation as one of the league's best 3-point shooters. In today's NBA, 3-point shooting is the name of the game, so how would Kerr, a 45.4 percent shooter from 3-point range throughout his playing career, fare in today's NBA?
"I think about this sometimes in terms of if I were playing today, how would I fare?" Kerr said on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky Show" earlier this week. "I think it’s all dependent on which side of the floor you’re talking about because on one hand it really helped me playing defense in the 90s when there wasn’t as much court to cover and teams didn’t just pick out somebody and put him in high pick and roll over and over again. That’s what teams would do to me now."
Kerr was honest about the struggles he might experience against today's biggest stars.
"If we played against James Harden, they would just pull me up in a pick and roll and I'd have no chance. Whereas 20 years ago, I’m just part of 10 guys in a much smaller radius, and there’s much more help, much more low-post play where my job as a guard was helping out or double-teaming a big, or making a rotation."
Kerr played with and against some of the league's most ruthless defenders in the 90s. If Kerr played today, he might struggle defensively, but at least he could make up for it from beyond the arc.
"Defensively, I think the game has never been harder, never been more difficult than it is today. The flip-side of that is, I would be shooting 10 three’s a game instead of three or four, and that is really appealing. There’s some give-and-take there.”
Would Kerr's 3-point shooting earn him more playing time in today's NBA? The Warriors coached joked that he would be a liability on defense, which would probably earn him fewer minutes.
“Well maybe lower than it was because coaches wouldn’t have faith in my defense, I wouldn't play,” Kerr said.
We'll never know how Kerr would fare in today's league. In the meantime, the former sharpshooter will live vicariously through Steph Curry.