Everyone in the NBA Hates Steph Curry, And Why Shouldn’t They?

Written by Jack Maloney at CBSSports.com

Before his devastating block on Andre Iguodala in Game 7, the most talked about rejection during the NBA Finals was LeBron James’ swat of Steph Curry in Game 6. The King followed it up with a torrent of trash talk and a look of absolute disgust that many took at the time to simply be the release of competitive spirit.

There might have been more to that moment, however.

On Tuesday, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group released his new book, Golden, which details Curry’s rise to a two-time MVP.

Over the weekend, Thompson joined Jason McIntyre on The Big Lead to talk about the book, and shed some light on the dynamic between some of the games’ top superstars. According to Thompson, LeBron, along with Russell Westbrook, are not fond of Curry and the hype he has received:

“I think if you ask them and they’re being honest, they don’t like all the hype he gets, and they have to direct it that way. I think, out of all of them, if somebody doesn’t like Steph Curry, I think it’s probably Westbrook. He just shows no sign of … this ain’t really about Steph, it’s bigger. His seems to be, ‘I don’t like that dude.’ But LeBron and them, I think they will say, ‘Man, I like Steph. We can have a conversation.’ But there’s something that burns them about the fact that Steph is the one that is exalted and because of that they want to go at him and demean his hype. They want to take him down.”

Being the competitors they are, of course LeBron and Westbrook would want to beat Curry, but this seems to go beyond just a simple need to defeat anyone in your path to a championship. It’s also interesting to hear the reasoning being the way the media hypes Curry.

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NBA All Star Game Rosters and Snubs.


Written by Brad Rowland at Uproxx.com

Normally, the conversation surrounding All-Star “snubs” takes place after full rosters are announced in any sport. On Thursday, the NBA announced only the 2017 starting lineups for both the East and West and, in something of a rare twist, the outrage machine got a very early start. This time, those screaming were actually right.

The frontcourt selections on both sides were quite reasonable. The East’s trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler and LeBron James was the consensus choice across the board and each player earned the nod with lights-out play throughout the campaign. In the West, Kevin Durant andKawhi Leonard were virtual locks, with Anthony Davis garnering the nod in a (slightly) controversial pick.

At the time of the selection, the Pelicans sit with a 17-26 record, but Davis sports incredible numbers (28.8 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks per game) and the likes of Marc Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gobert should (hopefully) be recognized with deserved reserve nods. Plus the game is in New Orleans, so Davis getting to start in front of his home crowd is cool.

However, the backcourts were not as clean. In fact, they were flatly wrong. Russell Westbrook is the first player in NBA history to enter the All-Star break while averaging a triple-double that includes a 30-point scoring average.

Naturally, he was left off the quintet of players who will represent the Western Conference to start the game in New Orleans, with Stephen Currytaking the reins. In the East, the “snub” was far less noticeable to a casual observer, but it was a case of the wrong member of the Toronto Raptors garnering the honor, with DeMar DeRozan set to start ahead of backcourt mate Kyle Lowry.

Fan voting was partly to blame for both outcomes, but both are amiss with what has taken place. Yes, Curry is the reigning two-time MVP and one of the best players in the NBA. His production, though, has slipped a substantial amount with Durant in the mix, and Curry’s numbers (24.6 points, 6.1 assists per game, 39.7 percent from three) look positively pedestrian when compared to that of Westbrook.

There is always the argument that Curry’s team success (the Warriors are the best team in the NBA) should buoy him to some degree, but in this case, the statistical argument for Curry is virtually non-existent and Westbrook’s singular dominance has been one of the bigger stories of the 2016-2017 season.

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Curry and Durant Dominate Raptors On Drake Day


Written by Ananth Pandian at CBSSports.com

On Wednesday, it was Drake Night at the Air Canada Center, a special occasion for the Raptors — Toronto had not lost on the rapper’s dedicated night. After losing to the Golden State Warriors, Toronto’s pristine record on Drake Night is no more.

The Raptors started the game strong, making the extra pass and getting good looks on offense. But then Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry got going and so did Golden State’s defense. The Warriors held the Raptors to 15 points in the second, forcing Toronto to shoot 5 for 24 and went into the half up by 13 points. And despite Toronto’s valiant attempt at a comeback in the second half, the Warriors never gave up their lead and ended the night with the 127-121 victory.

Takeaways

New Splash Bros: Although Klay Thompson struggled with his shot against the Raptors, it didn’t affect Golden State too much, mainly because they have Curry and Durant. The dynamic duo combined to score 65 points, more than half of Golden State’s total points.

Durant finished 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting. He also dished out six assists and grabbed nine rebounds. Curry was also sensational, drilling three 3-pointers and finishing at the rim with relative ease. He finished the game with a game-high 35 points on 10-of-19 shooting. When Curry and Durant are scoring 30-plus points, it is quite hard to beat the Warriors.

Dynamic Draymond: Led by Durant and Curry the Warriors closed the first half on a dominant 21-4 run. But while Durant and Curry did most of the heavy lifting on offense, it was Draymond Green who keyed Golden State in the first half.

Green was extremely active on both ends of the floor, playing tough defense and helping to facilitate Golden State’s offense. The Warriors All-Star was just everywhere and finished the half with 11 points, four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and one steal. Green’s performance in the first half was crucial to the Warriors getting and sustaining a lead.

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Steph Curry Is Actually A Video Game, Hits 13-3’s in One Game

Written by Connor Letourneau at SFGate.com

The chorus arrived with 2:23 left in the game Monday night. As Stephen Curry took his seat during a timeout, a sellout Oracle Arena crowd of 19,596 rained “M-V-P!” down on the man who won the award the previous two seasons.

Curry had just set an NBA record with his 13th three-pointer, breaking the single-game mark he had shared with Kobe Bryantand Donyell Marshall. His long-range performance helped the Warriors stave off the Pelicans for a 116-106 win.

Three nights after snapping his NBA-record streak of 157 straight games with a three, Curry poured in a season-high 46 points on 16-of-26 shooting (13-of-17 from beyond the arc). Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant chipped in 24 and 22 points, respectively. Draymond Green had four points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and two blocks.

“This was a special night,” Curry said.

He began to eye the record around when he hit his ninth or 10th three-pointer. His team nursing a five-point lead with less than four minutes left, Curry netted three threes in a 70-second span to ice the victory. On the one that broke the record, facing two defenders, he hoisted the high-arcing trey from 26 feet.

As ball met net, fans erupted from their seats. Curry stomped his feet, bobbed his head and unleashed a roar. It had taken more than 9,000 games with the three-point line in the NBA for this feat to materialize.

“When he’s going off like that, you don’t really have to find him,” Green said. “He’ll find a way to get a shot off, that’s for sure.”

In Golden State’s lopsided loss Friday to the Lakers, Curry had failed to hit a three for the first time since Nov. 11, 2014. The only player to make 400 threes in a season concentrated in practice Sunday on regaining his trademark flow from deep.

Curry fired with the reckless abandon Monday that has long made him a household name. To set his latest record, he converted at least a few “bad” shots. Curry knifed through two defenders in the second quarter before pulling up for a 26-footer. The official box score gave it the accurate title of “running jump shot.”

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Kevin Durant Just Murdered the Entire Thunder Roster.


Written by Matt Moore at CBSSports.com

There would be no sequence as if out of a movie on this night. This is sports, where the better team almost always wins.

A night after the Chicago Cubs completed the feel-good story of the century with a dramatic Game 7 victory in the World Series, there would be no such dramatics in Oakland, California. The Golden State Warriors faced the franchise from which they took the second-best player in the league– Kevin Durant– and beat them into oblivion. The Warriors beat Oklahoma City 122-96, but led by as many as 31.

In what was billed as a high-stakes matchup in the feud between Durant and Russell Westbrook, Durant left no doubt who came out better of the exchange when he left to join the team that beat him in the playoffs last spring. It was a total evisceration. The Thunder played well to start the game, but the Warriors put on a blistering show, the kind we had been expecting since Durant signed with Golden State. Durant was a human inferno, smiling and laughing as he burned his former teammates for 39 points on 15-of-24 shooting and 7-of-11 from 3-point range.

Durant even stayed in during the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand. There was no mercy, there was no notion of being beyond needing to rub it in. For Durant, this was clearly about the little jabs that had come from former teammates, critics and whoever else. All those critics he yelled at in his post-practice workout? They were in flesh and blood, and Durant let them know who he is.

Kevin Durant. Former MVP. Second-best in the world. Golden State Warrior.

The Warriors were merciless. They egged on Durant, constantly finding him on cuts to the rim for dunks, 3-pointers on the perimeter and celebrating with jubilation whenever he did anything. Durant embraced the Warrior’s aura of embarrassing teams and letting them know about it. When Enes Kanter chirped at Durant during a stoppage, Durant responded. Durant was spotted later saying, “Keep talking.”

Durant let his game do the talking, and he talked, and his teammates talked. There was a lot of talking.

The message, though, was clear. Durant joined the Warriors to take a special, once-in-a-lifetime team and make them better. They looked the part against OKC.

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Curry Not Yet Over Game 7 Loss


Written by Kurt Helin at NBCSports.com

Stephen Curry will probably always wince when the memories of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals come up. After a regular season where he helped lift his team to 73 wins, on the biggest stage of the game it was LeBron James and Kyrie Irving who were making plays late, while Curry couldn’t shake loose from Kevin Love. The Warriors lost Game 7 on their home court, and Curry was hunting threes late despite going 4-of-14 from deep that game.

That’s going to eat away at any competitor. Curry told Sam Amick of the USA Today he’s not over that loss, but he’s using it as motivation.

“I still haven’t gotten over Game 7,” Curry told USA TODAY Sports during a break in the shoot (of a commercial). “That’s something that will stay with me pretty much forever, for good and bad reasons. Obviously you hated the feeling, but it’s also a motivator to come back even stronger and try not to have that feeling again.

“I’m at that point now where I can try to fuel any kind of terrible nightmares or thoughts about Game 7 into motivation for how I’m going to prepare myself for this year.”

Finals losses have fueled many a player and team (think San Antonio in 2014). Curry is certainly no different. It took him a little while to start turning the loss into fuel — he admits in the article he was down for a while — but he has come around and now wants his shot at redemption.

Hunger and desire are not going to be the questions for Golden State this season. Figuring out how to blend Kevin Durant into this star-laden team, and how to win consistently despite the loss of depth the franchise gave up to get Durant, are much bigger issues.

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Curry Responds to Criticism on Golden State

Written by Teddy Mitrosilis at FoxSports.com

NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference the other day to announce some rule changes, but it was his comments on Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors that ended up making news.

Silver said he did not like the idea of the NBA being dominated by “super teams,” which many are assuming the Warriors will be when Durant joins Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of the squad.

“I’ve read some stories that the league wants this notion of two ‘super teams’ that is a huge a television attraction,” Silver said. “I don’t think it’s good for the league, just to be clear. I do not think that’s ideal from the league’s standpoint. Part of it is designing a collective bargaining agreement that encourages the distribution of great players throughout the league. On the other hand, I absolutely respect the players’ right to be a free agent.

On Wednesday, Curry got a chance to respond to that sentiment, which has come from many around the NBA world, not just the league commissioner.

“I mean, I’m not going to complain about it,” Curry told ESPN. “I know for a fact it’s going to be a different look having obviously lost some key guys. Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Mo Speights, Leandro Barbosa — guys that meant a lot to us and our success. We gave up a lot to gain KD. We’re going to be a different team.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing guaranteed in this league. You want to avoid that kind of situation, but we have to go out and play and it’s going to be a tough test.”

As we’ve seen in the past, many of these “super teams” never won an NBA title, so it’s not as if the NBA should just give the Warriors the 2017 title. If anything, as Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, making the Warriors a villain is a good thing for the league.

LeBron and Kyrie Carry Cavs to Game 6


Written by J.A. Adande at ESPN.com

On the campus of the Old School, they will pass out mimeographed copies of the box score from Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals and point to this as a moment that the tried-and-true ways prevailed, that inside beat outside and that the star system stayed intact.

The Golden State Warriors spent most of the past two years subverting all of those steadfast NBA truths, raining in 3-pointers and sending LeBron James to defeat after defeat on many nights when he was the best player on the court. Not in Game 5. Not when James controlled the floor with 41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocked shots — owning or sharing the game-high totals in each of those categories. And not when Kyrie Irving was the next-best player — more valuable in the fourth quarter, actually — with 41 points of his own.

James called Irving’s game “probably one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen live.” LeBron’s visual history would have to include his own 45-point, 15-rebound, 73 percent shooting Game 6 in Boston in 2012 to keep his first championship run in Miami alive. That one still ranks higher for its singular majesty; Dwyane Wade was the Heat’s next-highest scorer that night with 17 points.

Monday night was the first time a pair of teammates went for 40-plus points in the same NBA Finals game. And now the Cavaliers still have hopes of another historic achievement: becoming the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals.

It helped that this wasn’t exactly the same Warriors team that won three of the first four games in this series. Draymond Green served his one-game suspension for exceeding the flagrant foul points threshold in the playoffs for his whack at James near the end of Game 4. Without him, the Warriors were lost on defense and couldn’t go to the lineup configuration featuring him at center that had wreaked havoc on the league since last year’s Finals.

Their roster was further depleted by a left knee strain suffered by center Andrew Bogut early in the third quarter. With none of their backup centers making contributions, the Warriors went supersmall by sending Shaun Livingston in with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes. They couldn’t provide enough offense to make up for their defensive shortcomings.

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Curry To Skip Rio Olympics


Written by AJ Neuharth-Keusch at USA TODAY.com

Back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry has withdrawn from consideration for a spot on the USA Basketball roster in this summer’s Olympics in Rio.

“After a great deal of internal thought and several discussions with my family, the Warriors and my representatives, I’ve elected to withdraw my name from the list of eligible players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil,” Curry said in a statement released by the Warriors. “I recently informed (USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo) of this decision.”

Curry — who is just two games away from leading the Golden State Warriors to a second consecutive championship — suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain in the Warriors’ first-round series with the Houston Rockets and missed four games, but has been given his usual workload in 11 games since. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball in both the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cups, but has yet to play in Olympic competition.

“My previous experiences with USA Basketball have been incredibly rewarding, educational and enjoyable, which made this an extremely difficult decision for me and my family,” Curry continued. “However, due to several factors – including recent ankle and knee injuries – I believe this is the best decision for me at this stage of my career. It’s an incredible honor to represent your country and wear ‘USA’ on your chest, but my primary basketball-related objective this summer needs to focus on my body and getting ready for the 2016-17 NBA season.”

With the field of 31 finalists yet to be narrowed down to the official 12-man roster, Curry was as much a lock as anyone to suit up in the red, white and blue this summer. He joins Chris Paul, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin as All-Star finalists who will miss the Games due to injury concerns.

After Curry announced his withdrawal, Colangelo released a statement regarding the MVP’s Olympic status.

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LeBron James Doesn’t See Curry As Rival


Written by Chris Schwartz at FoxSports.com

LeBron James and Stephen Curry will meet in the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year, but dont call them rivals.

On the eve of Game 1, James was asked about his controversial comments made after Curry won his second consecutive most valuable player award. James questioned the meaning of the MVP trophy, and noted that there is sometimes a difference between “best player in the league” and the “most valuable.” James said Wednesday that he made a mistake answering the reporter’s question in the first place.

“First of all, I made the mistake by even answering the question because I knew where it was going to go, and I guarantee how it was phrased to Steph wasn’t how I answered the question. So obviously his reaction was what it was. And I’ve been there before as well. So Steph was definitely the MVP of our league and is the MVP in our league and is a great basketball player, and what he does for this league is amazing.

Then the question was asked if I had a vote what would the difference be between most valuable and MVP, and I gave my opinion. So obviously you guys ran with it.”

LeBron also said he doesn’t believe there’s a rivalry between himself and Curry.

LeBron James on the LeBron-Steph ‘Rivarly’

 

“You guys make rivals. I mean, I think it’s great for the sport. It’s great for all sports. I don’t think me and Steph — when you talk about rivalries, you talk about Carolina-Duke, you talk about Ohio State-Michigan. It’s hard to say LeBron and Steph. If there’s a smaller scale or another word for a rival.

The fact that we’re going back-to-back I think is pretty unique. It’s pretty unique to be in this position and just to have another opportunity, another opportunity for guys to write about it, for us to play it, for the people to talk about it throughout the world. I’m blessed that I can be a part of conversations.”

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