Klopp meets NBA legend Steve Kerr
The Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr visited Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool soccer players and the admiration was mutual.
NBA legend and head coach of the 2022 champions, the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr had a chance to meet the coach and players of his favorite soccer team, Liverpool FC. He recently paid a visit to the AXA Training Centre at Kirkby and met one of his favorite players, Mo Salah, and had a long chat with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Kerr may be a basketball legend, playing with the likes of Michael Jordan and coaching the likes of Stephen Curry, but he admitted that he’s not the most knowledgeable when it comes to soccer.
“I’m still trying to learn more about soccer. I’m not an expert, but I enjoy watching it, and I feel like I’m always learning something,” said Kerr.
Though he’s still learning, he made some comparisons between soccer and basketball and their similiarities.
“Watching the game, it’s very similar in terms of concepts,” said Kerr. “Even though there’s 11 players in soccer and only five in basketball, it’s still very much a game about three people – whoever has the ball and whoever is closest to that player – and being able to pass and move in small triangles across the court or the pitch; trying to beat your man and beat the defender with cutting and spacing, it’s all very similar.”
Kerr said he started following the Premier League around five or six years ago. It was Mo Salah and his story which inspired Kerr to become a Liverpool fan.
“I had seen Mohamed Salah play and read about him. I was just so impressed by his character and what he had done in his hometown, helping to build a school,” said Kerr. “I knew how beloved he was in Egypt, so I said, ‘That’s my guy!’ I wanted to cheer for Mohamed Salah and when I found out he played for Liverpool, I said, ‘OK, that’s my team!’ So, I’ve been a Liverpool fan ever since.”
It seems like Salah was just as impressed with and excited about meeting Steve Kerr.
Kerr had a long talk with Jurgen Klopp, which he said was a “great thrill”. In 2019, when the Warriors beat the Rockets in a playoff game, Kerr compared how he felt about the victory and his team to the way Klopp described his team after Liverpool had a big win.
Clearly, the two admire and respect each other a lot.
“We had a very private conversation - he’s a fantastic guy,” said Klopp. “It was a pleasure to meet him.”
“I took a picture when he spoke to a couple of the players, and said to the boys, ‘if you looked one time that concentrated when I talk to you, it would be really cool,’” said Klopp.
Whereas Kerr compared the similarities between soccer and basketball, Klopp made entertaining comparisons to their differences.
“The moment I was really, really happy I didn’t become a basketball coach was when he said he has to do press every day,” said Klopp, inciting laughter from the press around him. “Wow, that would be a killer. But he has a four-month break. So, that’s cool.”
Returning to seriousness, Klopp spoke about how impressive Kerr is.
“One of the greatest in the game. Absolutely outstanding,” he said. “You can be seen as big as you want in public, but smart people stay very grounded and are just good people. A real pleasure to meet him.”