Warriors

Kevin Durant glad Warriors lost to Cavs in NBA Finals

Kevin Durant glad Warriors lost to Cavs in NBA Finals

On June 19, the Warriors lost Game 7 of the NBA Finals at home.

On July 4, Kevin Durant announced he was going to sign with the Warriors.

Had Golden State outlasted Cleveland and captured its second straight title, would Durant be living in the Bay Area right now?

“I was telling one of my friends, Rich (Kleiman, his agent), who’s here, we were watching Game 7," Durant explained on Monday night at Stanford University. "Well, as it started to unfold, it was, ‘No question, no way could you go to this team.’ And I was just like a kid, like, in a candy shop.

[RELATED: Lacob relives day Durant picked Warriors: 'I remember every moment']

"I’d get wide open 3s, I could just run up and down the court, get wide open layups. I was basically begging him. I was like 'Yo, this would be nice.' So as I was thinking about my decision and who I was gonna play for, this team came to mind. You know, as they lost, it became more and more real every day. You start to think about it even more. To see if I would fit.

"Then once I sat down with these guys, everything that I wanted to know about them they kinda showed me. But we don’t have to talk about it though because they didn’t get the job done and they came after me and who knows what would’ve happened.

"But I guess you could say I’m glad that they lost.”

Two weeks ago, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was a guest on "The Lowe Post" podcast, and was asked the following two questions:

Lowe: "Have you ever had a conversation with Kevin Durant in which you address the idea of 'Would he have actually come there if you guys had won the championship?'"

Kerr: "I haven't asked him that. My sense is no but it's not coming from him. It's just kinda my gut, my instinct. But I think more than anything, for Kevin, he just wanted a change of scenery. I honestly sort of chuckle when people say 'he's chasing rings.' He's not chasing rings. He's been on one of the best teams in the league for many years and they've had their opportunities and it hasn't happened. And they've had some horrible luck with injuries. But I just feel players are just like people, like human beings in the real world. Every person out there who's lucky enough to have a career where they can make it more than about just paying the bills. You have a career, you get some opportunities, you get some choices. Maybe you want to live in a different city, maybe you want to do something else, maybe you want to try a new role. Maybe you get a promotion, you move cities. I think people can relate out there. You get a boost, you get kind of a jumpstart. You get a second life. I know for me, I felt that way when I left broadcasting and went into coaching. It was just kind of time. I wanted to do something different. Honestly, and again this is not coming from Kevin, this is just sort of my synopsis having gotten to know him a little bit and seen the situation -- I just think he wanted a change. I think he really enjoys our guys, I think he's gonna enjoy our style; such a great playmaker. I think he's really looking forward to just something new, and something different."

Lowe: "Its trite, but I have to present you with the hypothetical: Do you as Steve Kerr -- God comes to to you the day of Game 7, and says 'Here's your choice, Steve. You win this game and you don't get Kevin Durant but you get your second consecutive championship and whatever else happens. Or you lose but you get Kevin Durant. What are you choosing?"

Kerr: "You had to ask me that. Well. Why don't you ask me the same question five years from now and I'll see how we did. And then I can hypothetically in reverse look back  ... You have no idea what's gonna happen. We won 73 games last year and didn't win the title. 3-1 lead in the Finals. You have no idea what's gonna happen in life, in basketball, anything. So this was a helluva way to rebound off of the disappointment of that loss. But I honestly can't answer that question. Hell yeah we wanted to win that title. It would have been awesome back-to-back. Hell yeah we're excited to get KD. I just can't rank these things. I hate to tell you but I'm not gonna give you that answer." 
 

Warriors' Steph Curry jokes about waking up in NBA's Orlando bubble

Warriors' Steph Curry jokes about waking up in NBA's Orlando bubble

Steph Curry is jonesin' to play basketball.

The Warriors superstar misses the game so much that when he woke up on a recent morning, he thought he was in the NBA's Orlando bubble.

OK, maybe not. Clearly, Steph needs to work on his acting skills. But the sentiment isn't too far off.

After five straight trips to the NBA Finals that saw Curry play roughly an extra 20 games a season, the two-time NBA MVP broke his hand in the fourth game of the 2019-20 season. He returned to play in one game in March, but a combination of Curry catching the flu and the coronavirus shutdown ended his season early.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

So between the end of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 and the potential start of the 2020-21 NBA season in December, Curry will have played five regular-season games in a year and a half.

So you can understand why Curry is dreaming of being in Orlando.

Alas, the Warriors finished the 2019-20 season with the worst record (15-50) in the NBA. They were one of eight NBA teams not invited to the NBA season restart at the Disney World complex in Orlando. The combination of Curry's injury, Klay Thompson's ACL injury and Kevin Durant's departure crushed the Warriors' hopes of a sixth straight NBA Finals appearance.

The bright side (of the bed) for Curry is that his body has been given an extended break, the longest of his professional career. After five long seasons, a long 18-month break could do Curry a lot of good.

[RELATED: Simmons wonders if Lillard is better than Steph]

The Warriors are expecting Curry and Thompson to come back healthy and rested when the 2020-21 season starts, ready for a return to NBA title contention.

Based on the video Curry posted, he's getting plenty of rest.

Bill Simmons wonders whether Damian Lillard is better than Steph Curry

Bill Simmons wonders whether Damian Lillard is better than Steph Curry

Steph Curry is a better basketball player than Damian Lillard.

We don't make that declaration in an attempt to slight Dame, because the Portland Trail Blazers star is awesome. We certainly aren't rooting against the Oakland native or saying he is overrated.

But we feel compelled to defend Steph when necessary. And we are doing that now because of the following back-and-forth that took place Monday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast."

Simmons: "Dame -- I don't know where he is on the top-10 players in the league list and what the qualifications are -- but is Curry better than him at this point?"

Ryen Russillo: "Oh come on. Let's take it easy. Don't do this when Curry's missed a year."

Simmons: "I'm not talking about career. I'm not talking playoff chops (or) stuff like that. I'm just talking game-to-game, the stuff Dame is doing now consistently, reminds me of Curry. I feel like he's money. He's in the top eight or nine for me now. And I don't know what the list is. But I just think he's great."

Lillard is great. No doubt about it. And the 30-year-old was fantastic in Portland's first two games in the Orlando bubble.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

But we need to remind everybody -- again -- what happened during the Warriors' sweep of the Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference finals:

Curry: 36.5 points, 7.3 assists, 46.9 percent overall, 42.6 percent 3s
Lillard: 22.3 points, 8.5 assists, 37.1 percent overall, 36.8 percent 3s

Yes, Lillard is putting up big statistics this season with 28.9 points and 8.0 assists per game. But his shooting numbers -- 45.6 percent overall and 39.1 percent from 3-point range -- don't match up to what Steph did last season: 47.2 percent overall and 43.7 percent from beyond the arc.

[RELATED: The disrespect Steph gets absolutely blows Redick's mind]

The day possibly will come when Dame is considered the superior player by the majority of the basketball world. We aren't that naive.

But it definitely has not arrived yet.

So the answer to Simmons's question is ...

... "yes."

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram