Warriors

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.

After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.

After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.

"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.

"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."

Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.

Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.

"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.

LeBron James says young Lakers are 'hungry for knowledge'

LeBron James says young Lakers are 'hungry for knowledge'

LeBron James is no longer surrounded by veterans that have been around the block a few times.

Now on the Lakers, the four-time NBA MVP is running with a bunch of young pups with a sprinkle of veteran role players. The goal is still to get to the NBA Finals, but this might be LeBron's toughest task yet. He may spend quite a bit of time mentoring all the wide-eyed potential stars on the Lakers roster.

But that's not something LeBron is worried about. In fact, his early observation is that the youngster want to learn.

“I think more importantly than what I need to share with the younger guys," LeBron told China's CCTV5 recently. "I think what a lot of people are missing is how hungry for knowledge that the young guys have."

“[Kyle Kuzma] and [Lonzo Ball] and Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, [Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk] and Moe Wagner, we have young guys that are extremely excited not only about playing the game, but also learning the game. That’s going to help out even more because those guys are just hungry for knowledge, so I’m looking forward to that," LeBron said.

As for getting to a ninth straight NBA Finals, LeBron knows who he has to beat to achieve the goal.

"That's the goal with the new team, young team. We're very new to each other," LeBron said. "That's the goal, but we know the road goes through Golden State. We understand that. The whole NBA understands that. But that is always the goal. Each year, you train and prepare to try to get to another NBA Finals, so that is my preparation."

The Warriors will see LeBron four times now that he's in the Pacific Division, rather than the two times when he was in the East. The two teams will meet on Christmas Day in Oakland, Jan. 21 in Los Angeles, Feb. 2 in Oakland and April 4 in Los Angeles.

Jacob Evans III: Warriors training camp profile

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AP

Jacob Evans III: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

EIGHTH IN A SERIES

Player: Jacob Evans III
Position: Guard/wing
Height/weight: 6-6, 200
College: Cincinnati
Age: 21
Salary: $1.64M (first year of a two-year rookie deal worth $3.57M per Spotrac.)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 72

2017-18 in review: As a junior last season, Evans started every game for the second consecutive season and led Cincinnati in scoring and assists, while adding 4.7 rebounds. Bearcats coach Mick Cronin described Evans as an “elite” defender, while opposing coaches marveled over his versatility, composure and basketball IQ. The Warriors were impressed enough to select him in the first round of the draft, 28th overall.

Key stats: 36 games (36 starts), averaging 13.0 points (42.7 percent FG, 32.7 3p, 75.4 percent FT), 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game.

Season highs: Points (24), rebounds (eight, twice), assists (seven), steals (five), blocks (four).

2018-19 outlook: Despite displaying a strong feel for the game and court awareness, Evans did not dazzle during Summer League. His jump shot was errant often enough to leave some within the organization wondering if a mechanical adjustment might be needed. Evans told NBC Sports Bay Area in August that he’s not concerned and that his confidence remains high. There will be growing pains, and the Warriors will be pleased as long as there is actual growth within the pain. They can afford to be patient because an immediate impact is not needed.