19 years ago, Steve Kerr kept Michael Jordan perfect in the NBA Finals
Before the end of tonight, June 13 might end up being one of Steve Kerr's favorite days on the calendar.
19 years ago to the day, on June 13, 1997, Kerr hit one of the most famous shots in NBA history, clinching the Finals for the Chicago Bulls with a game-winner in Game 6 against the Utah Jazz after a clutch pass from Michael Jordan.
Jordan had already hit a game-winner in the series in Game 1 and buried the clincher in Game 5 despite battling flu-like symptoms. The Jazz had no reason to expect anything other than another Jordan shot in the waning moments of Game 6.
And the Bulls knew Utah knew what was coming. During the timeout before the possession, Jordan predicted that John Stockton would leave Kerr to double-team His Airness (via NBA.com):
That's how things really went down, but Kerr -- ever the joker -- told a slightly different tale during the Bulls' championship parade:
Kerr's shot clinched the fifth title of Jordan's time with the Bulls, but there's a slightly lesser-known piece of Jordan trivia that Kerr kept alive that night. Jordan never played in a Game 7 in the Finals, which adds a mind-blowing layer to the fact that he was 6-for-6 in the final round. While Chicago had its share of buzzer-beating shots during their two threepeats, the Bulls never faced elimination in the Finals.
So far, Kerr's Warriors can say the same. It would be an awfully fitting coincidence if he were to win his second NBA title as a coach 19 years after he won his second ring as a player. What do you say, universe?