Officially a member of the Warriors for less than two weeks, Kelly Oubre Jr. already is stuffing himself with the diet being served by Stephen Curry.
The captain’s grub, intended to nurture relationships, is instructive rather than critical. It’s heavy on work ethic, culture and character. There is a generous portion of humor. And a big “W” always sits on the table.
It’s the same “Welcome to the Warriors” platter that Curry places before every new member of the team – or even those who might be considering coming to the franchise. Some like it, some love it. Oubre seems to be fond of it.
“He's an amazing person, he's a pro’s pro and he's a genuine leader,” Oubre said of Curry on Friday.
What tends to get eclipsed by Curry’s spectacular performances on the court is his understated but deeply respected and effective leadership style. He’s overtly welcoming. Doesn’t ask more of anyone than he asks of himself, doesn’t rant, doesn’t glare at errant teammates and there is zero history of him relegating any of them to “supporting cast” status.
Whether it’s Kevin Durant or Kent Bazemore, David Lee or Damion Lee, Curry is the same dude, setting the same tone, a refreshing breeze that complements those hot blasts from Draymond Green.
And Oubre, who turns 25 next week, is immediately enchanted by it.
“It’s been pretty great to just connect with him off the court,” he said. “He’s somebody that you love. There’s nothing that you could really do to not get to know him. He reached out to me and we’ve connected off the court more than on the court (due to COVID-19 protocols) because we can't really work out together.
“But just to be able to see him work out as well on the court, it's just been . . . it's (reflective of) his character off the court. He’s a very transparent individual, so it's been amazing.”
The Warriors are Oubre’s fourth NBA team and third locker room in five years. After three-plus years with the Wizards, he was traded to the Suns early in the 2018-19 season and spent the remainder of that season and all of 2019-20 in Phoenix before being traded to Oklahoma City last month. He was on the Thunder roster for less than a week before being acquired by the Warriors.
Since arriving in the Bay Area, Oubre has done his part to get to know the region and the people he’ll be seeing on a regular basis, from teammates and coaches, to medical and training staffs and, of course, Eric Houson, the team’s indefatigable director of operations.
So far, it has been everything Oubre could have wanted.
“We come to work every day. We get better. Everybody has a smile on their face,” he said. “We all have the common goal in the back of our minds. Although the times right now we're pretty weird, we all come into work just make sure that we get better and be the best in our roles that we can potentially be.”
The team’s low-stress, high-joy vibe – attributed as much to Curry as to coach Steve Kerr – is in place for everyone to enjoy the grind. The team’s championship achievements validate the environment. Curry’s two MVP awards are his personal validation.
Though Oubre is an intense competitor, something the Warriors know from experience, Curry’s desire to win is no less intense. The youngster appears eager to vibe with the veteran.
It’s too soon to assume Oubre has found the home he has been seeking. But it’s evident he loves what he is being fed by the man who sets the temperature.