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OAKLAND – Gregg Popovich always had a feeling that Steve Kerr would make a great coach.

“Oh sure,” Popovich said Monday. “I mean, are you kidding me? He played for Phil [Jackson] for 97 years.”

Of course, Kerr also played under Popovich in two stints, from 1998-2001 and 2002-2003. Popovich said he’s not surprised that in Kerr’s four seasons coaching the Warriors, he’s led them to three Finals appearances and two NBA championships.

“I would’ve been surprised if he wasn’t doing well, frankly,” Popovich said. “He’s a grown man. He’s experienced as hell. He knows what wins and loses. He’s had the experience as a GM before he did this. He’s seen it from all angles. And he’s been in enough locker rooms and seen enough interpersonal relationships between players and coaches. He’s just a natural. Nothing surprises me.”

Popovich said he loved coaching Kerr. He pointed out that he was smart, interested in the world and had a great attitude. But Popovich joked that Kerr would hassle him during games.

“He sat closer to me because he was always trying to get me to get him in the game,” Popovich said. “He was always kissing up all of the time. ‘Coach, did you see that out there? I think he made a mistake’ — ‘Okay, Steve, go on in.’”

Kerr said he learned a lot under Popovich. High on that list: Don’t make Popovich mad.

“When he got upset, he used to say, ‘I apologize for going Serbian on you guys,’” Kerr said. “When Pop goes Serbian, you don’t want to be in the room.”

Popovich has led the Spurs to an unprecedented 21 straight playoff experiences, winning five NBA championships. Kerr said being in that locker room was an amazing …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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