ThePostGame recently caught up with the TNT broadcaster and five-time NBA champion.
ThePostGame: Leading up to Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday recently it seemed everyone wanted to compare him to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. As a guy who played with Jordan, what do you make of those comparisons?
STEVE KERR: I just kind of laughed. It’s impossible to really compare players, especially from different eras. But they're all phenomenal players in their own right.
They're just different. Each one is a little different from the other. And so it's tough to really just rank them and say, “This guy’s better,” because they’re all different at what they do.
TPG: Speaking of the Bulls, everyone is waiting for Derrick Rose to return. As someone who tore his ACL early in his career, what advice would you give to a guy like Derrick Rose as he returns from such a devastating injury
KERR: These guys all know that everybody comes back from the ACL nowadays and the surgery and rehab are so much better than they were 30 years ago. So it's not a career-ender, it's just a pause.
From that perspective they should be very confident. The biggest thing is just to be patient, and that’s what Derrick Rose is doing right now. He's taking his time as he should. You've got to feel comfortable in every which way, not just with your cutting and running. But with your mind, and your ability to make a basketball play without thinking about it. Those are all things that come with time and with patience, and that's why I like what Derrick and the Bulls are doing right now.
TPG: It seems like so many high-profile players have suffered knee injuries recently -- Rose, Rajon Rondo, Ricky Rubio, Iman Shumpert to name a few -- do you see a trend here or is this just a coincidence?
KERR: I think it's a coincidence, there's always been ACL injuries in basketball. It's just the nature of the body and the game that the body is playing. It does seem like we've had an inordinate number of the injuries in the last two years. But I can't definitively say that it’s for any specific reason. It just feels like this is just, you know, one of those things.
TPG: Another guy who tore his ACL was Kentucky star Nerlens Noel. After that injury people were calling for the NCAA to reconsider the one-year rule. You've discussed how much it helped you to stay in school for all four years. If you were the commissioner of the NBA, would you make any changes to that rule?
KERR: Actually, if I could I would make a change in the other direction. I would add another year, but that's something that's negotiated with the players.
The NBA shouldn’t make any decisions on their league based on whether a kid in college gets hurt or not. The NBA has to worry about itself, and that may sound harsh, but the league is better off with more maturity and more development from the players when they arrive. And as it is right now, you get a lot of players who just aren’t ready.
And so if anything I would add another year and make players stay two years in college.
TPG: The Spurs have one of the longest playoff streaks in NBA history and have been one of the most consistent teams in professional sports. As someone who has played for them and spent a lot of time observing them, what makes that organization unique?
KERR: It's kind of the perfect storm of talent, with David Robinson and Tim Duncan and then later [Manu] Ginobili and [Tony] Parker, with incredible coaching, management and ownership. Those things all came together kind of at the same time at the beginning with [coach Gregg Popovich] and [owner] Peter Holt and Tim and Dave.
And then you add [general manager] R.C. Buford into the mix, and what he's done with the draft and free agency. You've just got the perfect organization. The perfect model for consistency and excellence.
Kerr has been serving on a panel which recently selected the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Allstate NABC Good Works Team. For more information about the squad and its honorees, see here.
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