Today serves as Steve Kerr’s 18th year commemoration of his final shot that got Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls their fifth NBA championship way back in 1997. “If he comes to you. I’ll be ready” said Steve with just seconds left in the ball game.
Everybody thought Michael would get the final shot, but that’s the element of surprise – hit them when they can’t see you. And when Steve says he’s ready, he had spent hours and years practicing that shot over and over again. Do you guys remember dribbling the ball in your own backyard, counting down the last five seconds and envision yourself nailing the game winner. That’s how Steve Kerr had done it.
Game four in the NBA 2015 finals, Steve Kerr who now coaches the Golden State Warrriors, went small ball with Daymond Green at center and inserting Andre Iguodala instead of Andrew Bogut. The Dubs lost game three because of poor spacing. Without Bogut in the lineup there won’t be anybody clogging up the paint, just the two Cavalier behemoths in Timofey Mozgov and Tristan Thompson.
With Iggy and Green who can extend their shots all the way to the three point area, Mozgov would have to play beyond his comfort zone. This is still a hit-and-miss strategy especially if your shots are not working. Mozgov and Tristan could easily beat anybody up with post-ups and offensive rebounds in this system. The San Antonio Spurs also went “small ball” last year as they bagged another championship against Lebron’s Miami team. Coach Popovich opt to play Boris Diaw instead of Tiago Splitter, and Diaw gave Miami a different riddle that they never got to find the answer.
Steve had to reshuffle his team, something unorthodox for a coach to do on a championship level. But it was necessary. After losing consecutive games in the series (games 2 and 3) with one on their home court. The morale of the team has been low, and they are slowly losing their gripped especially when the Cavaliers are playing scrappy defense, and are undermanned with just Lebron holding the fort. Change, as what an ancient philosopher said “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
Everything has to start from the top to the bottom. Faith is taking up the first step even if you don’t see the staircase. It just needs to work, then whatever happenstance win or lose, at least they tried.
Well, it didn’t work and for some luck Cleveland went 6 out of 29 uncontested shots. But the Warriors still went out winning.
For Steve Kerr, that’s more about faith and fate. Something he has done and believed that gave them a championship 18 years ago.
“If he comes to you. I’ll be ready”… echoes throughout the years.