‘Not Everybody’s Cup of Tea’: Steve Kerr on the Common Aspects of Russell Westbrook & Allen Iverson

Published 05/09/2021, 10:30 AM EDT
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


Steve Kerr has had a storied career in the NBA, first as a role player with Chicago Bulls, and now as a Hall-of-Fame worthy coach of Golden State Warriors. So, during these two different phases, he’s come across two mavericks of the game – Allen Iverson and Russell Westbrook.

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The former went on a famous ‘We talking about practice’ rant in the early 2000s. Kerr appeared on ‘The Damon Bruce Show with Ratto and Kolsky’ to shed light on that moment.

“I remember that moment well. I had just finished my 14th season in Portland and I was in the Atlanta studios for TNT during the playoffs,” Kerr recalled.

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SHANGHAI, CHINA – NOVEMBER 10: American former basketball player Allen Iverson receives interview during rehearsal for 2018 Double 11 Global Shopping Festival on November 10, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images)

Kerr values the ethos of discipline very highly, having instilled that culture with the Warriors. But he wasn’t taken by surprise when Iverson had this famous meltdown when he was still playing for the 76ers.

“It was sort of amazing just how honest and forthright he was, particularly with Larry Brown as his coach. (Larry Brown was) the ultimate detailed coach, the ultimate practice coach. So, it was a fascinating moment.”

‘Ferocious athleticism & desire’ are common aspects of Russell Westbrook & Allen Iverson

Kerr admired Allen Iverson for his passion on the court. He gave it his all, frequently averaging more than 40 minutes per game. “For me looking back, I love Iverson. I love his passion, energy, just his will.”

He sees those qualities in Washington Wizards superstar, Russell Westbrook. Very much like Iverson, his style of play divides opinion like no other. But there’s universal acclaim for his ability to play hard every single night, much like Iverson.

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Mar 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

“I think in many ways, he was a lot like Russell Westbrook, where maybe he’s not everybody’s cup of tea. Maybe you don’t love certain aspects of his game. But you just have to admire the ferocious athleticism and desire,” said Kerr.

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Westbrook and Iverson may not have the biggest fanbase in the NBA. But they will always be highly regarded and idolized by the younger generation. As for the next Iverson or Westbrook – look no further than Ja Morant.

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Bharat Aggarwal

755 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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