Kerr eager to return to Tahoe for ACC | NevadaAppeal.com
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Kerr eager to return to Tahoe for ACC

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

Steve Kerr has worn many hats during his professional career — 16-year player with seven teams, consultant, general manager and TV analyst.

The 47-year-old Kerr, who has five NBA championship rings, is looking forward to coming to Lake Tahoe again for the annual American Century Championship July 16-21 at the Edgewood Golf Course.

“This tournament is great,” Kerr said in a conference call Thursday morning. “There are 75 to 80 guys in the field, and there are 15 to 20 guys that can absolutely have a chance to win. Some guys will shot decent scores, and some not so much. I’m looking forward to competing and hanging out with the guys. I can’t wait.”

Kerr admitted he didn’t know where the oddsmakers had him listed for this year’s tournament.

“Probably off the board,” said the NBA analyst.

Kerr is all about the NBA, and he weighed on the NBA Finals, the future of the Miami Heat and the Nets hiring Jason Kidd as their head coach.

The former Chicago Bulls guard picked the Spurs to beat the Heat, and he said he’s sticking with that prediction.

“It wasn’t a very precise pick,” Kerr said. “I think it’s really an even match-up, but obviously the Spurs have the edge being up 2-1 and coming off that big win. Who knows what’s going to happen with Parker (Tony, injured point guard)? If he’s out. I don’t think San Antonio can win the series.

“But the biggest question is probably LeBron. It’s just really kind of bizarre. He’s been so good all season long and throughout the playoffs, and he’s really struggling this series. It’s shaping up to be really a compelling, great series and a lot of storylines, but I’ll stick with the Spurs.”

Kerr went on to say that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Heat make changes in the offseason, win or lose.

“I don’t know that it’s so much the league catching up to them as it is the fatigue of winning and going to the finals year after year,” Kerr said. “This is their third straight year in the finals, and there is an Olympics mixed in there. The last time a team went to the finals in the NBA four straight years was the Celtics in the mid-’80s. There is a reason it doesn’t happen. It’s incredibly tiring, physically and emotionally, to do this year in and year out. My guess is Miami will try to make changes this summer just to inject some new blood and new life in there, but teams like Indiana and Chicago in particular are ready to firmly take that next step.

“(Chris) Bosh is the most likely to be traded based on the fact that he is younger and healthier than (Dwayne) Wade, who is the face of the franchise. He’s owned that town for so long. His game is suffering right now, and the trade value is the question. But what are you doing to the team if you’re cutting the guy who brought the Big Three together and helped you win two title. I have a hard time seeing that happen.”

The hiring of Kidd was a surprise to Kerr, but the analyst thinks Kidd will be a good coach.

“I was surprised because most times when somebody retires, they look forward to getting away, whether for a year or couple of years,” Kerr said. “Jason has always loved the game, and has always been incredibly passionate about it. I think he saw this as an incredible opportunity, and he didn’t want to pass it up.

“Whether he will succeed or not, time will tell. I think he has the right background, obviously, but he also has the right personality and basketball IQ. He can get along with people. I think those are all the qualities he has. The inexperience will be a factor early, he just has to get the right staff and then roll with it. My guess is he’ll be very good.”

ROENICK WEIGHS IN

Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick, who has finishes of third and fifth in the ACC, was asked about the Blackhawks-Bruins Stanley Cup final.

“The building was electric last night (Wednesday),” he said. “The Bruins came out flying. They are losing their momentum a little bit, but three overtimes to start the Stanley Cup with two teams that haven’t played each other all year because of the lockout, they learned very quickly about each other. It was a great performance by the Blackhawks at the end there coming back from being down two goals. I think this is going to be a long series. There are going to be a lot of overtimes before this series is done.”

FACTS & FIGURES

Tournament week is July 16-21, and competition will be July 19-21 … There are 80 players in the field, including first-time players Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez and Antonio Gates … The total purse is $600,000, with the winner getting $125,000, the runner-up getting $50,000 and the third-place finisher receiving $35,000 … Former hockey star Dan Quinn is the defending champion. He’s won the tournament five times, but has only defended his title once … The tournament is played under the modified Stableford format.