In a new book about the Golden State Warriors coach, Scott Howard-Cooper explores how the NBA, China and the US president combined for an explosive mix
Three years after joining the team, Kevin Durant broke up with the Golden State Warriors forcing Steve Kerr to go through a series of major line-up adjustments. But Kerr was energized by the challenge that came complete with the symbolism of the Warriors starting another new life with the move into shiny Chase Center. Plus, there was the enthusiasm of finally getting on the court with Team USA in August 2019, nine months after the announcement that he had been chosen as Gregg Popovich’s assistant and 33 years after playing for his country in his star-crossed world championships in Spain. The American squad met in Las Vegas for the same mini-camp USA Basketball often held to prepare for international competitions, only now with the head coach and a high-profile assistant jousting with the White House and heading into the delicate diplomatic waters of China for the tournament.
Officials said nothing to Kerr, however, before Las Vegas or once players and staff gathered. “Not to him specifically,” former USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said. “I did it in a different manner. To the group I said, ‘We want to go about our business. We’re here to represent the United States, we’re here to play the games, we’re here to do all of that. This is not about politics. This is not the platform for that.’ I wanted a separation.”
Adapted from Steve Kerr by Scott Howard-Cooper. Copyright 2021 by Scott Howard-Cooper. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.