‘A Thousand Dollar Cash’: Warriors’ Steve Kerr Recalls His First Shoe Deal as a Rookie

Published 03/01/2021, 7:30 PM EST
Feb 2, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr yells from the bench during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA sneaker market is flooded with incredible designs nowadays. There are a lot of athletes with lucrative sneaker deals, but that wasn’t the case back in the day. The market has inflated now, but when Warriors head coach Steve Kerr first came into the league, a humble shoe deal was enough to get him elated! 

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Steve Kerr is one of the most winningest players/coaches the league has ever seen. Kerr is currently excelling in his duties as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, and likewise, performed an excellent job as a player too. 

Steve Kerr recollects the first sneaker deal he ever signed

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Every player considers it to be a special moment when they sign their first sneaker deal. It was no different for Steve Kerr who was drafted into the league in 1988. Back then, Nike did exist, but it was Converse who ruled the sneaker market.

So Converse offered Steve Kerr a sneaker deal which excited the young point guard. However, it wasn’t a deal that was worth a massive amount of money as one would expect. It was the year 1988 and here’s what Kerr remembers about his rookie year shoe deal. 

“A thousand dollars cash and I think $1,500 of gear from Converse to wear their shoe. And it felt like I hit the lottery.”

It is just a classic tale from a man who is loved by NBA fans for his jovial demeanor. It wasn’t the craziest of deals, but it was so special that Kerr still remembers the details, even after 33 years! 

Here’s another sneaker story involving Steve Kerr and a Golden State Warriors player!

Unlike the above-mentioned story, this one took place recently. Steve Kerr and the Golden State Warriors took on the Charlotte Hornets and won 130-121. Before tip-off, Kerr noticed rookie James Wiseman doing something strange. 

Wiseman, who signed recently signed a sneaker deal with Anta, was lacing up with Gordon Hayward’s signature sneakers when he was about to face him on the court. Generally, this is avoided by a maximum number of players in the league. 

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Feb 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Detailed view of the basketball sneakers worn by Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) for the game against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Players don’t tend to wear an opponent’s signature shoes when they are about to face them on the court. Hence Steve Kerr advised the same to James Wiseman, and the latter then understood the meaning behind it and changed sneakers after. 

Steve Kerr is such a valuable asset to the Golden State Warriors and the NBA community as a whole. Not often do you see an eight-time NBA champion of his class! 

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Arjun Athreya

1817 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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