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NBA head coach who lost his father to terrorism weighs in on Trump's immigration ban

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP/Tyler Kaufman)

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has experienced the horrors of terrorism — but he says President Donald Trump's controversial executive order barring people from seven countries from entering the U.S. isn't the way to fix the problem.

A successful coach and five-time NBA champion as a former player, Kerr was asked about Trump's executive order following the Warriors' win over the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday night. And in his answer, he recalled losing his father, Malcom Kerr, in 1984.

At the time of his death, Malcom Kerr was president of American University in Beirut where he worked to bring together those of different religious faiths. He was assassinated by two gunmen outside of his office when he was just 52 and his son was a freshman basketball player for the University of Arizona.

"As someone who [had] a family member who was a victim of terrorism — I lost my father — if we're trying to combat terrorism by banishing people from coming to this country, really going against the principles of what this country is about and creating fear, it's the wrong way to go about it," Kerr said Sunday night.

"If anything, we can't be breeding anger and terror so I'm completely against what's happening," he added. "I think it's a horrible idea, and I feel for all the people who are affected, families are being torn apart, and I worry in the big picture what this means to the security of the world."

Kerr, who was named NBA Coach of the Year for 2015-16, said that while he has talked with his team about "various issues" often, due to the team's schedule and games, he has not discussed with them Trump's latest executive order.

Massive protests broke out at airports nationwide as refugees and visa-holders who were already en route to the U.S. at the time of Trump's decree were detained upon entering the country. Lawyers worked from the floors of terminals to help those barred from entering the country – or simply coming home.

Not all who were barred from entering the U.S. are refuges. Nazanin Zinouri, who graduated from Clemson University last year with a Ph.D. in industrial engineering, was in Tehran visiting her family when she heard the news of Trump's executive order. Although she's lived in the U.S. for seven years, she was barred from returning home once she arrived in Washington, D.C.

A New York federal judge did issue an emergency stay late Saturday night which allowed refugees with a valid U.S. visa to avoid immediate deportation.

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