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One of Michael Jordan’s most infamous stories comes with Golden State Warriors’ coach and former teammate Steve Kerr. Jordan, competitive as he was, didn’t tolerate the slightest distraction on the court. Not even in practice, where he often took things up a notch vs. his own teammates.

That didn’t fond well with Kerr, who was reportedly being quite physical while guarding him. Things escalated a bit too quickly and Jordan ended up punching him in the face and giving him a black eye.

However, far from damaging their relationship, Kerr acknowledged that it brought them closer together, claiming Michael respected him far more after that and it helped them bond off and on the court:

“I would say it definitely helped our relationship and it sounds really weird, I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody at all. (…) I think it has to be understood in the context of competition and the intensity of practices back them. I think we’re smarter now in terms of protecting our players (…) My point is practices were really intense and played a huge part in Michael setting a standard for our play (…) I feel like I passed the test and he trusted me more afterward”, Kerr told NBA on TNT.

Kerr has never shied away from Jordan’s legacy, nor has he tried to play him down. He recognizes that Michael constantly put the team in a position to succeed and even went as far as to claim that he ‘owns him everything’, even though Kerr did hit a couple of clutch shots to help the Bulls’ dynasty:

“I was maybe in my 5th, 6th year in the league. I was passed around, was just an average player. Playing with Michael Jordan changed the entire course of my career. I was able to play on Championship teams, made a name for myself, was able to make my way to the TV and broadcasting, management, coaching, and the reason people hired me for these jobs it’s because I played next to Michael Jordan. (…) I owe him everything”, Kerr recently claimed during an interview.

Steve Kerr enjoyed his fair share of success after his stint with the Chicago Bulls so perhaps he’s just being humble, but Michael Jordan’s impact on taking his career off the ground is undeniable. Some may even say that without Michael Jordan, there wouldn’t even be a Golden State Warriors dynasty with Kerr in charge.