Klay doesn't shy away from dynasty talk: 'We just want to be...'

Klay doesn't shy away from dynasty talk: 'We just want to be...'

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson showed no fear. He didn’t so much as blink, much less hesitate. The D-word came out of his mouth with a breezy assurance no different than the basketball coming off his shooting hand.


That’s not Thompson’s presumption, nor is it that of the Warriors. But when you’re on a run of three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, with two championships to show for it, that becomes the only long-term goal.

And Thompson embraced the notion, when asked on Thursday what will drive the Warriors this season.

“Probably the potential dynasty factor, leaving a legacy like the Showtime Lakers of the ‘80s or that (Larry Bird-led) Celtics team or those Bulls teams of the 90s or the three-peat Lakers team,” Thompson told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We just want to be known as one of the greatest teams of our era. And I think we have the ingredients to do it. We’ve just got to go out there and take it. That’s what drives us.”

The Warriors last season became the first team in NBA history to win at least 67 games in three consecutive seasons. They became the first team in 31 years to post the best record three consecutive seasons. Their 207 wins are the most ever during such a span.

History beckons, and Thompson -- along with fellow All-Stars, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green -- believes the Warriors want their piece.

“Individually, our best guys don’t need any motivation; you see it every day with Steph and Kevin,” he said. “They are the hardest workers on the team. And when you see your two best players doing that, everybody else on the team, we just follow suit. They’re still really hungry and we just want to leave a legacy, especially in the Bay Area, as one of the greatest collections of talent that ever stepped on the hardwood.”

Seeing the goal is one thing, achieving it quite another. Several teams around the league, most of them in the Western Conference, have made bold moves in an effort to seriously challenge the Warriors.

The Thunder, coming off a 47-35 season, added Paul George and then Carmelo Anthony to a team led by reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. The Rockets (55-27 last season) traded for future Hall of Famer Chris Paul, pairing him with James Harden. The Timberwolves, a disappointing 31-51, added All-Star Jimmy Butler, former All-Star Jeff Teague, and steady veterans Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford to a roster that already had Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

The Warriors remain the favorites, but Thompson seems to realize that favorites don’t always win.

“It’s just going to be a fun year in the NBA,” he said. “People think it’s the Warriors and everybody else. But we don’t think like that. And, certainly, the players around the league don’t think like that.”

Since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77, only two franchises -- the Lakers and the Bulls -- have won three titles in four seasons. Both did it twice. By most any reasonable definition, they were dynasties.

If Thompson and the Warriors manage to thrive while navigating the regular season and then win another championship, that’ll put them safely in dynasty territory.

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

OAKLAND -- The words came dribbling out slowly, ruefully and with more than a trace of despair.

JaVale McGee, the 7-foot accidental villain, could barely speak about his role Friday night in the moment that left the Warriors pleading for mercy while their fans were screaming at the sky.

Stephen Curry, returning to the lineup after a six-game absence due to a right ankle sprain, lasted 25 minutes before sustaining another injury, this one a sprain to his left MCL. The two-time MVP will undergo an MRI test Saturday.

“I pray to God,” McGee said, “that nothing’s wrong with him.”

The injury occurred with 3:09 left in the third quarter. After biting on a pump fake by Atlanta forward Mike Muscala, McGee wound up tumbling backward, with his 270 pounds landing directly at the front Curry legs. Curry immediately started limping away, with the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena gasping in horror.

“I was trying to block a shot,” McGee said beneath a vacant stare, “and I ran into him.”

That’s the kind of month it has been for the Warriors. All four of their All-Stars have been knocked out of action by an array of injuries.

Curry went down March 8 after tweaking his surgically repaired right ankle. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured March 11 at Minnesota, Durant sustaining a rib cartilage injury after taking a elbow from 7-foot Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Thompson spraining his right thumb after making contact with Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague.

Draymond Green began the next week as the team’s only healthy All-Star, a distinction that lasted eight days before he was struck down with a pelvic contusion Monday night in San Antonio.

“It’s like a juju or something on us,” McGee said. “I’ve never been part of a team where everybody just got injured, especially the starters. It’s kind of scary to tell the truth.”

Durant, Thompson and Green were unavailable Friday night, which is why Curry’s return was so encouraging. After a 2-point first quarter during which he went 1-of-6 from the floor, Curry found his stroke and over his next 16 minutes scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

Then came the most frightening moment of the night, throwing a massive damper on a 106-94 victory.

“I assumed it was his ankle when he came out hobbling and I found it was his knee,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We will see what the MRI says tomorrow.

“There is not a whole lot we can do or predict. It’s kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate. He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks and gets that strong and the knee goes. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed.”

The Warriors came out of the All-Star break fairly healthy and ready to make a run at the No. 1 overall seed. They’ve achieved it in each of the last three seasons, coming away with two championships.

Hopes of getting there this season have disappeared under a pile of injuries, all of them coming over the last 16 days. As of late Friday night, there was no knowing how serious Curry’s injury is, or how long he might be out.

What’s known is that it was another in a succession of frightful moments.

“It’s a little somber in there,” Kerr said of the locker room. “Everybody feels for Steph. But it’s more a case of just keep going and keep pushing forward. We’ll come into tomorrow, short practice and get ready for Utah.”

That’s at the request of the schedule. That’s a dose of NBA reality on a grim night.

McGee didn’t seem ready for that. He was feeling awful about the entire episode.

“I can’t describe it,” he said of the play that followed everyone into the night. “Everybody has a TV. I fell into him and . . . I know y’all (reporters) don’t think I’m standing here like, ‘Yes, I fell into him.’

“That’s a star player. Of course, we don’t want him to be injured, especially after he came back. So I feel very bad for the fact that I was a part of that.”

McGee said he hopes Curry is out no more than a couple games.

The Warriors would be ever so pleased if it’s a couple weeks. They want to be whole for the postseason,, the only season by which they will be measured and a season that, on this night, nobody was of a mood to visualize.

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry lasted 25 minutes Friday night before limping out of another game.

He was diagnosed with a sprained left MCL and did not return after sustaining the injury.

Curry came up limping after center JaVale McGee, leaping for a rebound, tumbled backward into his lower legs with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors-Hawks game at Oracle Arena.

Immediately, the sellout crowd let out a collective groan.

Curry, his face a mask of dejection, headed for the bench, where he was examined by Warriors physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane. The two then headed into the locker room.

Curry scored a team-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game. This was his first appearance since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle, causing him to miss six games.

Curry has missed 21 of the team’s 71 games. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday, and his status beyond that is yet to be determined. 

This story is being updated.