Kerr credits Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash, 'the original Stephen Curry'

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There will be those who deride them, but the Golden State Warriors' NBA title will remain historically significant as the first championship of a certain brand of modern-day basketball.

Up-tempo, positionless, jump-shooting basketball.

Coach Steve Kerr credited where the seeds were planted on Tuesday night.

"I imagined it with Steve Nash," Kerr told reporters, specifically referring to his days as general manager of the Phoenix Suns from 2007 to 2010. "Steve was kind of the original Stephen Curry."

The Suns teams of the first decade of the 2000s turned basketball on its ear with Nash's frenetic point guard play, a flurry of 3-point shooting, and coach Mike D'Antoni's seven-seconds-or-less offense.

"I think Steve kind of laid out a vision for a whole generation of young point guards," Kerr said. "(With) Mike D’Antoni kind of initiating that style ... the whole league kind of playing shooting fours and fives and playing a little faster. I think Mike and Steve in many ways set the table for Steph Curry."

The Suns teams of that era reached three Western Conference Finals but never beyond, at least in part due to shortcomings on defense. But the Warriors mastered that aspect this season thanks to flexible, switching, positionless basketball. The result was a league-leading defensive rating to go alongside an offensive rating 0.1 points per possession from also being tops in the NBA.

Kerr's outgoing lead assistant - and new Pelicans coach - Alvin Gentry, who coached the Suns post-D'Antoni, also gave due credit on Tuesday night.

"I would say that this is vindication for Mike D'Antoni," Gentry told Bleacher Report's Howard Beck. "So for all the people that said you can't win a championship being a 3-point-shooting team and not ... a low-post presence or anything like that, we just did it."

Kerr was quick to mention defense, as well, and took the high road in gloating over former TNT colleague Charles Barkley, a notorious skeptic of the Warriors' style of basketball.

- With H/T to ProBasketballTalk

Kerr credits Mike D'Antoni and Steve Nash, 'the original Stephen Curry'
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