The 76-year-old received the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame at halftime of the Bulls 107-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons. Several speakers paid tribute to Kerr's various accomplishments.
Kerr, who is battling cancer and may not have too much time left, deserved the honor. He is one of the all-time great players in the history of the University of Illinois. He won the Big Ten MVP award and led the school to the Final Four in 1952. He was NBA Rookie of the Year in 1955, helping the Syracuse Nationals to the championship. He became the first head coach in the history of the Bulls in 1966, and he is still the only coach to lead a first-year expansion franchise to the playoffs. Younger generations know Kerr as a TV/radio announcer and ambassador for both the Bulls and the NBA.
But here's what was really funny about the ceremony: When Michael Jordan got up to speak, Comcast Sportsnet felt the need to post a graphic on screen identifying Jordan as a "former Bulls guard."
When that happened, everyone in our newsroom laughed out loud. One of my colleagues said, "Oh, that's who that is. I didn't know."
As if they really needed to let us know that was, in fact, Michael Jordan. A quick Google search for the terms "Michael Jordan" and "most recognizable athlete" yields 52,200 hits. I'm pretty sure there are people in Bangladesh who know who Michael Jordan is.
Just in case you didn't know, that guy in the photo clapping the talcum powder in Red Kerr's face is "former Bulls guard Michael Jordan."