Warriors coach Kerr says Steph Curry is ‘the short Tim Duncan’

Turmoil surrounds the Golden State Warriors after the one-game suspension of Draymond Green for his emotional outburst directed at Kevin Durant, and coach Steve Kerr says superstar Steph Curry is the leader his team needs to get through these tough times. 

“He’s got the respect of everybody in the organization, on the team,” Steve Kerr told reporters Thursday per The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. “He’s very wise. He brings us together. He’s a guy we count on to keep things rolling. I’ve said many times, Steph is the short Tim Duncan. Having played with Tim and having been through all kinds of stuff in San Antonio. (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) would tell you, we went through stuff back then — actually, Pop would not tell you — but we went through all kinds of stuff. When you have a guy like Tim Duncan, a guy like Steph Curry, it makes your whole world easier.”

Former NBA center Tim Duncan played 19 seasons as a professional, all with the Spurs, and won five NBA championships, along with three Finals MVP awards. He was as stoic as he was brilliant on the floor. 

Green’s verbal attack of Durant came at the end of Golden State’s overtime loss to the Clippers Monday, Nov. 12. Durant asked why Green didn’t give him the ball at the end of regulation with the score all tied up. Green, fresh off an embarrassing turnover that robbed his team of a potential game-winning shot, didn’t take kindly to Durant’s attitude. Here are some juicy details courtesy of Rob Perez and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. 

It’s a good thing the Warriors have Curry. The longest tenured Warrior and two-time NBA MVP wasn’t in LA the night Green and Durant got into it, but he’s on the road with his team now. Steph’s status and demeanor should help diffuse the situation, and his presence on the road has already paid dividends. Green, Durant and new Warrior and notorious malcontent DeMarcus Cousins were spotted bonding on the bench during Golden State’s blowout loss at Houston on Thursday. 

Here’s footage of the four superstars, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater. 

The drama, unprecedented during the Warriors dynastic run, has come early in the 2018-19 season. Kerr has seen it all during his career as player and coach. He even reportedly got into a fight with Michael Jordan during his days with the Bulls, as recalled here by NBC Sports. That Kerr believes Curry’s presence alone can overcome the team’s internal strife speaks volumes. 

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Warriors’ Curry injured, team plays with ‘mindless intent’ in loss to Bucks

The Warriors were humbled by the Bucks Thursday, losing at home 134-111, in a game that wasn’t even as close as the score would indicate.

Golden State was without defensive stalwart Draymond Green — not to mention guard Steph Curry, who left with an adductor strain in the third quarter and will undergo an MRI Friday, per ESPN — but coach Steve Kerr put the onus on players on the floor. He said the Warriors played with a ‘mindless intent’ according to 95.7 The Game’s John Dickinson.

Kerr mentioned that early foul trouble and poor shot selection got his team off course. The margin of error for the Warriors was smaller than usual — Milwaukee is one of the best teams in the NBA thus far. Led by long, lean and skilled forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks entered Thursday’s game with an 8-2 record, good for No. 2 in the Eastern Conference behind the Raptors.

The Celtics have been thought of as Golden State’s chief rival in the East, but the Bucks are fighting for that title. They won their second consecutive game at Oracle Arena Thursday. When they next meet, the Warriors intent will no doubt be more mindful. Hopefully, for Kerr, Curry, Green and the rest of the team will at full physical strength as well.

Steph Curry on his favorite Draymond story: ‘The times him and coach Kerr get into it’

Warriors guard Stephen Curry appeared on The Bill Simmons Podcast for an in-depth interview covering a wide array of topics, including the sometimes volatile forward Draymond Green.

Simmons asked the three-time NBA Champion and two-time MVP for his favorite story involving Draymond. Curry pointed to the creative friction between Green and Warriors coach Steve Kerr. According to Steph, the two ‘get into it’ during practice periodically.

“You’re inside practice, and you don’t know whose side to take. I guess they’re both right, or they’re both wrong,” Curry told Simmons.

He asked Curry what the two argue about.

“About a play call,” Curry said. “Or maybe something that coach Kerr has been thinking about for a couple games, about a tendency that we’ve been shading to and [Green’s] like ‘don’t over coach. We know what we’re doing.’ And coach is like, ‘well I know you know what you’re doing, but let me just help you along as I’m supposed to do and that’s what my job is to do, to point out things that could be important for us to win a championship.'”

The situation isn’t at all serious according to Curry, who sounds like he eats his favorite snack, popcorn, while the two go at it.

“The respect level between them two is at an all-time high, but they have their moments,” Curry told Simmons. “And it’s just amazing entertainment to watch.”

Curry didn’t mention Green’s emotional outburst toward Kerr during halftime of a 2016 game at Oklahoma City. Draymond was loud enough for ABC sideline reporter Lisa Salters to hear him from outside the locker room, and she reported the tirade, including some juicy details which can be found in this report by CBS Sports’ James Herbert.

The stress of that season has given way to two more Larry O’Brian Trophies, however, and Curry finds the dynamic between Kerr and Green entertaining. Green’s fire and competitiveness is one of the reasons Golden State is in the midst of a dynastic run, and winning’s the bottom line — for Curry, Green and of course Kerr as well.