10 former Portland Trail Blazers that might surprise you

Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Mo Williams, Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Steve Kerr, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP) (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /

No. 1: Steve Kerr (2001-02)

Statistics: 4.1 points and 1.0 assists on 47.0 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from 3-point range

Long before he was putting the finishing touches on his Hall of Fame legacy as one of the game’s more respected coaches, Steve Kerr spent one of the final years of his playing career as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers in 2001-02.

For a man who shared locker rooms on every stratosphere — from the young Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway days, to later playing with Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, and Scottie Pippen — you have to wonder if this one was the craziest of his career.

Kerr joined the immensely talented Trail Blazers in the heart of the Jail Blazers era, signed on as a culture fit meant to diffuse any potential off-court combustibles, while also producing enough fireworks from 3-point range to assist the Trail Blazers in the postseason.

In his lone season in Rip City, Kerr averaged 4.1 points per game on 47.0 percent from the field (his highest since his title season in 1996-97 with the Bulls) and 39.4 percent from deep. He had some solid showing in the 2001 Playoffs, but the Blazers again fell to the Lakers, as they had in 1997. And 1998. And 2000. And then, a year later in 2002. Let’s move on.

Kerr’s playing career was over a year later, but not without one more storybook moment, and, surprise, surprise, another NBA championship.

Next. What the NBA's hiatus means for Portland's injured players. dark

Despite declining consecutive offers to join the Blazers front office, Kerr has spoken positively of the Blazers’ culture and organization as a coach of the Warriors. Unfortunate as it is, wherever Kerr has gone — and he’s been a lot of places — championships have followed. Such just wasn’t the case here in his lone season as a Blazer.