Curry flips out in Game 6 of finals, takes first NBA ejection


Curry flips out in Game 6 of finals, takes first NBA ejection

CLEVELAND –- Steph Curry has been whistled for fouls. He has displayed flashes of anger. He has even thrown that mouthpiece usually seen dangling from his lips.

Never, though, has Curry been ejected from an NBA game. And when the unprecedented occurred Thursday night in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Curry went temporarily insane.

He got in the face of referee Jason Phillips, gesturing and yelling at him for whistling Curry for a blocking foul on Cleveland’s LeBron James. It was Curry’s sixth foul, disqualifying the MVP with 4:22 left in a 115-101 loss to the Cavaliers.

Curry’s tirade continued, with him flinging his mouthpiece, prompting Phillips to assess a technical foul and an ejection. Curry’s mouthpiece hit a fan. Regaining a measure of composure, he apologized to the fan before heading into the locker room.

This was a Steph Curry we’d never seen.

“Yeah, I’ve thrown my mouthpiece before. I usually aim at the scorer’s table. I was off (with my) aim,” Curry said. “I definitely didn’t mean to throw it at a fan. But it happened. I went over and apologized to him because that’s obviously not where I was trying to take my frustration out.”

[RATTO: Warriors suddenly vulnerable, frustrated, in hazmat-level mess]

Curry was displeased with the officiating, specifically as it was directed at him. And his coach, Steve Kerr, was in full support. Kerr was lit into the officials with stream of unvarnished commentary.

“That had nothing to do with the outcome,” Kerr began, speaking of the officials. “The outcome was decided. But he had every right to be upset. He’s the MVP of the league. He gets six fouls called on him, and three of them were absolutely ridiculous.

“He steals the ball from Kyrie (Irving) clean at one point. LeBron flops on the last one. Jason Phillips falls for the flop. As the MVP of the league, we’re talking about these touch fouls in the NBA Finals.

“Let me be clear,” Kerr continued. “We did not lose because of the officiating. (The Cavs) totally outplayed us, and Cleveland deserved to win. But those three of the six fouls were incredibly inappropriate calls for anybody -– much less the MVP of the league.”

Kerr didn’t stop there. He co-signed on the throwing of the mouthpiece, saying Curry had a right to be upset.

“Look, it’s the NBA Finals and everybody’s competing out there,” the coach said. “There’s fouls on every play. It’s a physical game. I just think that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the way we run our offense, we’re running, we’re cutting through the lane; we’re a rhythm offense. If they’re going to let Cleveland grab and hold these guys constantly on their cuts and then you’re going to call these ticky-tack fouls on the MVP of the league to foul him out, I don’t agree with that.”

[POOLE: Instant Replay: Warriors fumble clincher, Cavs force Game 7]

Curry, the first MVP to foul out of an NBA Finals game since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000, was most upset about the last two whistles. His fifth foul came after he stole the ball from Irving, with Ken Mauer on the call.

“I didn’t think I fouled either Kyrie or LeBron,” Curry said. “That’s just kind of my perception of the plays and I had a reaction to it.

“It was obviously frustrating fouling out in the fourth quarter of a clinching game and not being out there with my teammates. So it got the best of me. But I’ll be all right for next game.”

The next game arrives Sunday, Game 7, at Oracle Arena. Kerr expects emotions to be present but not overpowering.

“I can’t wait for Sunday,” he said. “I think we’ll be fine.”

Klay Thompson 'unlikely' to play for Warriors this season, Steve Kerr reveals

Klay Thompson 'unlikely' to play for Warriors this season, Steve Kerr reveals

Ever since Klay Thompson tore his left ACL four months ago, the Warriors guard has held out hope that he could return this season in time for a potential NBA playoff run.

His coach, however, isn't betting on that timeline.

"It's unlikely that he's going to play this year," Steve Kerr recently told NBC Sports Bay Area in an exclusive interview that will air at 1 p.m. PT Tuesday in “NBA Season Tip-Off,” only on the MyTeams app. "So we have to understand that."

Thompson, who suffered the knee injury during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, had surgery July 2, and has said he hopes to play after the NBA All-Star break in February. Recent history, however, suggests that might not be possible.

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine sat out 11 months with a similar injury, and Atlanta Hawks forward Jabari Parker missed nearly a year. Kerr, who tore his ACL in college, believes Thompson will be on the same timeline as those players.

"You have to look at it realistically," the Warriors coach said. "I had an ACL [tear] in college, and I missed a whole season. Generally, an ACL for a basketball player is a full-year recovery, and if it's a full year for Klay, that puts them out for the season.

“We've kind of left the door open in case the rehab goes perfectly and the doctors say he can go. But the reality is, on April 1, that’s the nine-month mark. ... April versus nine months post-op for an ACL.

"We have to prepare our young guys to fill that role behind him, and when he gets back, whenever that is, hopefully these young guys now are developed and in the rotation and ready to really be contributors on a playoff team and we can get better," Kerr added.

Thompson has been visible around the team in recent weeks. Following Sunday's practice, he stood along the baseline as players wrapped up individual workouts. Thompson hasn’t missed more than nine games in an NBA season, so the prolonged absence has been an adjustment for him.

"He's bored," Kerr said. "I mean, Klay loves basketball, he loves to play, so he's at the point in his rehab, three-plus months in, where his knee feels pretty good. He's not in pain. He can get out there and shoot around, but he's got to let it heal, and he can't run, he can't cut. So we'll see him in the weight room, in the training room, getting his work in.

“But I feel bad for him. You never feel part of it unless you're actually playing and with the guys, and he misses that."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Klay out]

Kerr and the Warriors find themselves in transition entering this season. With Thompson's absence, along Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala's departure and eight new roster additions, Kerr is adjusting to Golden State's new life in the NBA.

“It's very different," Kerr admitted. "There's a lot more teaching this year than there has been in the last five. Things that the last group would have known in their sleep, these young guys have never seen before, and so we are literally going back to the basics day in and day out."

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with "NBA Season Tip-Off," streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Through his first 10 NBA seasons, Steph Curry has won two league MVPs (one unanimous) and three league titles with the Warriors. He's been named to six All-Star teams and has a scoring championship under his belt. He's on pace to destroy the all-time record for most career 3-pointers.

By most accounts, he's changed the way young players shoot the basketball.

That should be enough to make Curry a Hall of Famer, right?

Not according to Michael Jordan.

"He's still a great player," Jordan said Monday on NBC's "Today." "Not a Hall of Famer yet, though. He's not."

MJ, you're the GOAT, but this is a freezing cold take.

How did this come up? About six years ago, Jordan was asked to pick four players he'd want to team up with in a fictional pick-up game. He chose Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy.

NBC's Craig Melvin asked Jordan if anything had changed since he picked those four and if he'd swap out any of them for current NBA players.

Jordan said he would not, and Melvin threw Curry's name out there, asking His Airness if the Warriors star should be offended.

"I hope not," Jordan said, before claiming Curry isn't yet a Hall of Famer.

[RELATED: KD picks Steph over Russ]

Curry has revolutionized the way the game is being played, just like some guy named Jordan did in the 1980s and 90s.

Jordan did a lot of good during his playing career, but since he hung up that Wizards jersey, not much has gone right for him. These comments are just another black eye on Mike.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!