Warriors

Steve Kerr: Steph Curry better now than his unanimous MVP season

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AP

Steve Kerr: Steph Curry better now than his unanimous MVP season

Programming note: Watch the Warriors' final preseason game tonight at 7:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Steph Curry won the MVP in 2015.

Steph Curry won the MVP in 2016.

During the 2017 NBA Finals, he averaged 26.8 points, 9.4 assists, 8.0 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.

“I think Steph is at his absolute peak right now -- physically, emotionally," Steve Kerr declared after practice on Thursday. "This is probably as good as he's ever gonna be. I think he's better now than he was last year or the year before. And that's saying something.

“He is the most impactful offensive player, in terms of what he does to the defense, maybe ever. There's guys, obviously Michael Jordan impacted things, but the way Steph plays puts the fear of God into defenses like nobocy I've ever seen. Nobody has been able to shoot off the dribble from 35 feet in a normal setting. But he does that, which changes the entire game. So everything we do revolves around Steph."

Shortly after the Warriors won the title, Steve Kerr said that Kevin Durant, not Curry, is the second best player in the NBA.

At the championship parade in June, Kerr singled out every player on the roster... except Curry.

Many people on "Warriors Twitter" think that Curry is underappreciated and underrated.

“You can talk about where he stands in terms of the best players in the league. He's obviously one of the best, by that standard he's the best," Kerr explained. "If you want to just say ‘who affects the game the most offensively?' Steph is the best player in the NBA. But there's different ways of measuring that stuff. From a two-way standpoint, if you like the two-way guys, maybe it's Kawhi Leonard or KD or LeBron because they're bigger or stronger and can protect the rim.

“Steph is an excellent defender though. He does not get the credit he deserves. There's a lot of guys in the playoffs who are great one-way guys. Steph, he's a two-way player. He gets his hands on passes, he deflects the ball, and all you have to do is just look at the impact he makes every time he's on the floor for us to know that everything we do, everything we run offensively, the other guy's ability to make plays -- Shaun, Andre, Draymond -- it all starts with Steph's gravity."

[REWIND: Kerr's message to Warriors fans who want more pick-and-roll for Curry]

“And then what's amazing about Steph, what continues to add to all that, is his personal character, his unselfishness and the way he approaches the game. His usage rate is maybe 30th in the league. I don't know exactly. He could easily be like, ‘why don't I have the ball? I'm the best offensive player in the history of the game?' We could run high screen every time.

“But he understands the power of the group. He understands that Shaun and Andre and and Draymond and Zaza and David are all great passers and as a group collectively, we are a better team when everybody sharing. And that's what makes Steph amazing. 

"I've said it many times -- he reminds me so much of Tim Duncan in that he's got this incredible package of skill, arrogance and humility. It's a weird combination but it makes sense and the result is this powerful force that drives our entire organization.”

Curry finished sixth in the MVP race last year and did not receive a single first-place or second-place vote.

It's possible that he never wins another MVP again.

But it probably wouldn't be wise to bet against Curry.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Report: KD wants to own an NBA team

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USATSI

Report: KD wants to own an NBA team

Kevin Durant figures to have a good chunk of his career ahead of him, but he's already thinking of his next move.

Durant is only 29-years-old, but is already in the midst of his 11th NBA season. For his post-basketball life, the reigning Finals MVP has his sights set on NBA ownership.

Over his last 18 months as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Durant's increasingly yearned to own an NBA team, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Haynes. 

"[This] is a genuine goal of his after he retires, to add another African-American in the position of majority ownership," a league source told Haynes under the condition of anonymity. 

Currently, Michael Jordan is the only African-American majority owner in the league. Durant said he would also like to see more African-Americans in front office roles. 

"[Jordan] was the first big Nike athlete, the biggest star of his time, but if you don't have the trajectory, that path, that journey, it's going to be hard to do what he did," Durant told ESPN. "But you can still affect the NBA and the game of basketball in a different way. You don't have to be an owner.

"I think it should be more guys in the positions of power like general managers and scouts and coaches. Anything that involves the day-to-day operations of these franchises. I think more players and more experienced players should be in those positions."

Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, have met with multiple tech executives and team owners in order to "learn the lay of the land," Haynes wrote. 

He's not the only former MVP on the Warriors with ownership aspirations, either. Stephen Curry tweeted last month he wanted in on Sean "Diddy" Combs' prospective bid for the Carolina Panthers, and Curry told ESPN last month he's "really serious" about the opportunity. 

Gameday: Intensity, fury rages as Warriors visit Cavaliers in rivalry's next chapter

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USATSI

Gameday: Intensity, fury rages as Warriors visit Cavaliers in rivalry's next chapter

The Warriors will have their full squad available Monday when they wrap up their season series with the longtime rival Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The teams have met in the last three NBA Finals, with the Warriors winning twice.

The Warriors (35-9) are coming off an impressive back-to-back road sweep, winning at Milwaukee on Friday and at Toronto on Saturday. Their regular starting lineup -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green -- will be together for only the fourth time in the last six weeks.

The Cavaliers (26-16) have stumbled lately, losing seven of their last nine. Isaiah Thomas, acquired in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in August, made his debut on Jan. 3 and will be playing his fourth game as a member of the Cavaliers.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James: The top two forwards, and conceivably the two best players, in the game today. The Warriors are 5-2 against Cleveland since Durant was acquired to offset James. James is No. 3 in scoring (27.1 per game), Durant No. 5 (26.3). Both are efficient scoring machines. James is rebounding better (8.0-7.0), Durant blocking more shots (2.14-1.07). When these two clash, it’s hard to take your eyes off them. Durant asks to defend James and won the battle when the teams met on Christmas Day in Oakland.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Omri Casspi (low back soreness), F Andre Iguodala (hip flexor strain) and G Shaun Livingston (L shin contusion) have been upgraded to available.

Cavaliers: G Derrick Rose (L ankle sprain) and G Iman Shumpert (L knee surgery rehab) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Cavaliers: 3-7.

GAME OFFICIALS

Scott Foster (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Eric Lewis

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first of two meetings this season, 99-92, on Christmas Day in Oakland. The teams split two meetings last season. The Warriors have won five of the last seven regular-season meetings and 11 of the last 14. They have won 11 of 18 NBA Finals games played in the last three years.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE POINT MEN: Neither Curry nor Thomas played on Christmas Day, so it’ll be intriguing to see them renew a battle that dates back to Thomas’ days in Sacramento. Curry generated dominated the matchup, though Thomas has since made the leap from good to great offensive player. One thing remains, though: Thomas remains among the league’s worst defenders.

INTENSITY LEVELS: Because of the history, the air crackles with fury when these teams meet. That won’t change anytime soon. But the Cavaliers, having beaten the Warriors only once in the last seven meetings, should be particularly fierce. This game means more to Cleveland than it does to the Warriors. Will the Warriors be able to match the intensity they’ll face inside the Q?

THE ARC: The 3-ball almost certainly will be crucial in this game. The Cavs are third in 3-pointers made (513), while the Warriors are fifth at 505. But the Warriors are more accurate, shooting at 38.9 percent to Cleveland’s 37.2. The Warriors are slightly better at defending the arc and, on the other end, can use ball movement to stress the Cavs’ relatively slow defenders.