Former Wildcats, Steve Kerr, Andre Iguodala and Bruce Fraser add to their legacy
Winning a championship ring is a defining measure for fans, players and admirers of the great game of basketball. Michael Jordan has six rings, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan have five and Larry Bird has three.
After winning their third Finals victory in four years, the Golden State Warriors put themselves in the same lofty realm as the Showtime Lakers, Bird’s Celtics, Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq’s three-peat Lakers.
Putting a bow on another championship run is something that has almost become customary in the Bay Area, and three figures have been there for the (almost) yearly coronation.
Those three aren’t Klay Thompson, Draymond Green or Steph Curry; but rather Steve Kerr, Andre Iguodala and Bruce Fraser.
One of Arizona’s favorite sons, Steve Kerr collected his eighth ring as a player and coach — putting him in rarified air shared only by the likes of Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley — with even more championships awaiting him around the corner.
The eight rings all but solidify a plaque of his own to be crafted in Springfield’s National Basketball Hall of Fame.
Bruce Fraser, the loyal Kerr assistant who also shares deep Arizona roots — both playing and serving as an assistant under Lute Olson at Arizona in the late 80’s — won his third ring with the Warriors.
Fraser has established himself as one of the NBA’s brightest assistants, making a name for himself by being a coach to Steve Nash and Steph Curry.
Former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala added to his ever-growing resume as he won his third ring as a starting member of arguably the best team ever to be assembled. He was the cornerstone that made the “Lineup of Death” tick — a lineup that has changed the way basketball as a whole is looked at due to the fluidity and versatility of its five members.
Iguodala often has the responsibility of guarding the other team’s best offensive player night in and night out in order to free up the other four superstars.
The unsung-hero-esque nature of Iguodala’s role within this team culminated with the NBA Finals MVP trophy that he won three years ago for his combative play against LeBron James over the entire series.
While limiting LeBron as much as humanly possible, he allowed a rather inexperienced Warriors team time to adapt to their new high-stakes championship environment.
These three Wildcats added to Arizona’s official NBA Championship counter, currently at 28, with nine of those coming in the last four years due to the trio.
The impact the three have had on the Warriors always be remembered — as will the pride they instilled into Wildcats fans everywhere.
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