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Nadia Brickhouse 19 Jun 2015

Why the NBA Finals is a Victory for Lebanon

In Lebanon, we’re famous for claiming famous people with even the most obscure Lebanese roots as our own. But I have a new nominee for the honorary Lebanese hall of fame: Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, who won the NBA finals this week, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kerr was born in Beirut and is the son of former AUB president Malcolm Kerr.

According to a biographer, the elder Kerr once said that watching his son Steve play basketball was his life’s greatest joy – next to being president of AUB.

(Image via sfchronicle.com)

Malcolm Kerr was tragically assassinated during one of the worst chapters of Lebanon’s Civil War. But this week, his son led the Golden State Warriors to victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals – culminating the best season in basketball history.

The accomplishment is particularly amazing in light of the fact that it was also Steve Kerr’s first season as a basketball coach — ever. (Though he has played for years).

Time to break out the fireworks. This was a victory for Lebanon.

Kerr has won acclaim from the press for being “humble, detailed, and curious about the world.” Sports writers notice that he’s the epitome of calm under pressure – something no doubt informed by his tragic youth. They constantly mention that he reminds his team that a big world exists outside of basketball – and he would know.

He was born in Beirut, like his father before him, and spent much of his childhood here. Kerr’s historic winning season — and final victory over the Cavs is something Beirut can be proud of.

Look, if Lebanon can claim Salma Hayek as Lebanese, we can also claim Steve Kerr.

Steve Kerr is so humble that he hates how positive the press is about him. “People act as if I’ve never done anything wrong or said anything bad or given anyone a hard time. They act as if they would be amazed to find out that I drink beer. And if I read one more time that I’m Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, I think I’ll throw up.”

Steve Kerr, ladies and gentlemen: he’s humble, worldly, fearless, and he drinks beer. Now this is a man we can all be proud of.