Steve Kerr retired after winning a championship with the Spurs in 2003.
He immediately became a broadcaster, served as the Phoenix Suns' general manager from June 2007 to June 2010, and was a broadcaster again for the 2010-11 through the 2013-14 seasons.
In May 2014, he was introduced as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Year 1: 67-15, runner-up for Coach of the Year, NBA champions
Year 2: 73-9, Coach of the Year, TBD
His former TV colleagues are not surprised by Kerr's immense coaching success.
“I always felt he would be successful,” Marv Albert told Awful Announcing recently. "But to think he would be in the situation he’s in right now is incredible...
"When we would travel on the road, we’d always get together with coaches before the games,” Albert explained, “but he (Kerr) would spend a little extra time. He always had his eye on that.”
Mike Fratello, who was the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies during Kerr's first broadcasting stint, used to meet with Kerr before games.
“During that time he was like a sponge, soaking in and taking in the best of each of the great coaches he had played for throughout his career,” Fratello told Awful Announcing. “And I think Steve had in the back of his mind that some point, he would like to try that.”
“Steve would ask all the right questions in those meetings and he would also go back and say ‘Hey, I saw that out-of-bounds play you used three nights ago, what did you do there? What were you thinking there’,” Scooter Vertino, the senior vice president of Turner Sports and the general manager of NBA Digital said. “And then he would adapt that play and use it on his AAU team.”
When Golden State tabbed Kerr as its next head coach, critics mentioned that Kerr had never coached before.
But that isn't entirely accurate.
"This is my first coaching job, other than coaching Nick's (his son) eigth grade AAU team, the Wildcats, we were awesome by the way," Kerr said on Tuesday during his Coach of the Year press conference. "We dominated the northern part of San Diego County."
You can know everything there is to know about basketball, but one of the keys to being a winning NBA coach is connecting with the players and managing egos.
Just ask Grant Hill, who averaged 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds for the 2009-10 Suns.
“I don’t know if there was a better people person, who could manage people and make people feel good about themselves,” Hill told Awful Announcing. “He knew when to say the right thing. Whether addressing the entire team, pulling a couple of players aside, walking past each other in the hallway, calling you to go grab a coffee, he had real good instincts in being able to understand and read people.”
“When you see him deal with people or take on new challenges, it’s not surprising to any of us here that he would be successful,” Vertino added. “He has a way about him that is, I think, disarming when you deal with him. He’s very easy to talk to and to open up with. And I would think his players see that.”
As Albert explained, Kerr is about so much more than basketball.
“He’s just the right guy for that particular group,” Albert said. “He’s broader than just basketball, and I think that’s what makes him so good with the players.
"We would discuss politics, we would discuss movies, shows ... Steve has a twisted sense of humor.”