In celebration of Arizona’s centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams. Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list — with the first 90 in no particular order. Later this month, Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.

Steve Kerr


You could say there was an element of luck in Steve Kerr’s basketball career.

The lightly recruited high school guard went to the 1988 Final Four with Sean Elliott and the Arizona Wildcats. Then, as a second-round NBA pick, Kerr won three NBA titles next to a guy named Michael Jordan and another two with Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs.

Kerr has long joked about his good fortune. He laughed at a 2005 UA roast when former UA assistant coach Kevin O’Neill said Kerr was the "most unjumping guy that ever played 15 years and (won) five titles in the history of the world.”

And he often poked fun at his defensive deficiencies, displaying mock indignation after the Dallas Mavericks sent scorers right at him during the 2003 NBA Western Conference finals. “A lot of people don't know I was the Masterlock Defender of the Year in the sixth grade,” Kerr said. “Apparently the Mavericks weren't aware of that.”

But here’s why it wasn’t all about luck: The one game Kerr remembers above all the others was not the late three-pointer he hit to ensure the Bulls won the 1997 NBA title, nor any of his other 909 NBA games.

Read more about Kerr in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.