Steve Kerr racked up a lot of stories from his time with the Chicago Bulls. Those anecdotes have made him a better coach, and he’s shown that with his Golden State Warriors. One of the most impressive stories of his time in the Windy City actually helped Kerr get past the Houston Rockets in the Game 5 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals.
During that game, Kerr advised Kevin Durant to trust his teammates, just like Phil Jackson did with Michael Jordan several years ago. At that time, Michael was sinking every shot he attempt, but the Bulls weren’t convincing anybody with his performance. That’s when Jackson asked MJ to trust his teammate and that decision paid off for everybody.
Steve Kerr told KD a classic MJ story about trusting his teammates ✊ pic.twitter.com/MLB3pQaTnW
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2020
“When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game,” Kerr began the story. “He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren’t getting anything going. Phil Jackson said ‘Who’s open?’ He said, ‘John Paxson.’
“I want to trust your teammates early. What you’re doing is you’re getting to the rim and then you’re trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?”
We recently saw MJ and Jackson telling that story during the fourth episode of ‘The Last Dance’. There were plenty of troubles for Jordan and his teammates to get used to the triangle offense and that was a turning point for them. This anecdote takes a different dimension when you hear Michael and Jackson talking about it.
After Kerr told that story, Durant revealed he enjoyed it and he always enjoys the stories his former coach had to tell him.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) June 2, 2018
“I really enjoyed that conversation, having somebody that was that close to the legend, Michael Jordan, tell me, and feel confident that we’re in similar positions at the moment made me feel good about myself, that he can relate that moment to Michael Jordan,” he said.
You can’t say Jordan and his Bulls aren’t important in the league. You can see how impactful they still are that they helped Steve Kerr change the mindset of one of his players.