Warriors

Klay Thompson's Game 6 vs. OKC belongs on Bay's Mount Rushmore, Steve Kerr says

Klay Thompson's Game 6 vs. OKC belongs on Bay's Mount Rushmore, Steve Kerr says

Every Warriors fan remembers exactly where they were when Klay Thompson saved Golden State's season in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals in Oklahoma City.

I was in Nashville, Tenn., for a cousin's wedding, unable to watch the thriller on TV. I had to follow along on Twitter.

With the 73-win Warriors on the verge of being eliminated by the Thunder, Thompson went thermonuclear with a single-game NBA playoff record 11 3-pointers. He finished with 41 points, and "Game 6 Klay" was born.

It's one of the most iconic performances in Bay Area sports history.

But does it belong on the Mount Rushmore of best Bay Area performances? Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes so, and he explained why Friday during an interview with 95.7 The Game.

"Just one of the most incredible, clutch performances in such a desperate moment," Kerr said on the "Damon, Ratto and Kolsky" show. "We were really dominated for most of those series, and we were just hanging on for dear life in that game, down eight or 10 for most of the game. I've watched that game several times since, and it's almost impossible to fathom what Klay did and what he was able to do individually in that game to pull the game for us. It was just an amazing performance."

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

Thompson's performance allowed the Warriors to return home for a Game 7, where they knocked off the Thunder to advance to a second straight NBA Finals.

In terms of best Bay Area performances or moments, I would lock in Thompson's Game 6 vs. OKC, Madison Bumgarner's Game 7 relief outing against the Kansas City Royals in 2014, and the Joe Montana-Dwight Clark "The Catch" from the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The fourth member of this list is open for debate.

Could it be Travis Ishikawa's pennant-winning homer in 2014? Steph Curry's 37-point performance in Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Finals? Kevin Durant's dagger 3-pointer in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers? Montana's Super Bowl XXIII-winning pass to John Taylor? Montana's five-touchdown performance in the 49ers' Super Bowl XXIV win? Steve Young's six-touchdown effort in the 49ers' Super Bowl XXIX win over the San Diego Chargers? Edgar Renteria's two-run homer in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series? Cal-Stanford's "The Play" in 1982? Something else?

[RELATED: Dub Nation loves 'Game 6 Klay']

Bay Area sports fans, tell us which four individual postseason performances or moments you would carve into your Mount Rushmore.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Steve Kerr knows Warriors must 'begin to manage' Steph Curry's minutes

Steve Kerr knows Warriors must 'begin to manage' Steph Curry's minutes

Restarting a dynasty never is easy, and the Warriors will face a host of new challenges next season as they look to return to greatness after a pause year at the bottom of the NBA.

Among the new set of obstacles for coach Steve Kerr is something he hasn't had to worry about in the past: managing Steph Curry's workload. As Curry enters his age 32 season, Kerr knows it will be the responsibility of the staff to make sure Curry isn't overworked during the season, suggesting the Warriors will implement a version of the Celtics' "KG Plan," which Boston used toward the end of Kevin Garnett's tenure.

“Now, (Curry’s) at the point where he’s been at the peak of his powers for the last couple of years,” Kerr said on The Athletic's "Hoops, Adjacent" podcast. “If anything, it’s on us to try to begin to manage his minutes. We’ve always been really blessed. We’ve been able to do that because of the talent on our team. We’ve never really run Steph into the ground. We don’t have as much depth as we once did. It’s on us as a coaching staff to make sure we get him his rest every night, and we’re not wearing him out.”

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

For Garnett and the Celtics, that plan meant Garnett spending five minutes on the court and then five minutes on the bench. The Celtics tried to stick to that plan as diligently as possible during the 2011-12 season, but eventually, they needed Garnett to play more down the stretch and in the playoffs.

The Warriors' plan for Curry is unlikely to be as regimented as Garnett's was in 2012. As Kerr noted, the Warriors no longer have the depth they once did, so even more will be placed on the shoulders of Curry and Klay Thompson as they try to resurrect a dynasty that was brought down by injuries and exhaustion in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

After playing just five games last season, Curry no doubt is chomping at the bit to return and prove that he and the Warriors should not be cast aside yet. Managing Curry's minutes will be important to keep him fresh for what the Warriors hope is an extended playoff run, but it's clear the Warriors will have to ask Curry to shoulder a heavier load in order to accomplish their goals next season.

[RELATED: How Steph feels about Warriors playing in second bubble]

A critical offseason now faces the Warriors. After sinking to the bottom of the NBA, the Warriors will have a top-five draft pick and a $17.2 million trade exception to use to bolster the roster around Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green.

Returning to the unprecedented level of greatness they once enjoyed is too much to ask of Curry and the Warriors. You don't simply absorb the massive blow of losing Durant and return to that level.

But the Warriors will return to the court rested and healthy in December when the next season is expected to begin, and they should automatically return to contender status atop a now loaded Western Conference.

Curry wants to prove that the Warriors dynasty isn't done. In order to do that, he'll have to carry a heavy load for a rebuilt Warriors team. For the Warriors to succeed in returning to the top of the NBA, it's important Kerr makes sure the two-time MVP isn't worn down by the weight he's asked to carry.

Steph Curry offers thoughts on Warriors playing in second NBA bubble

Steph Curry offers thoughts on Warriors playing in second NBA bubble

As 22 NBA teams get acclimated to the bubble in Orlando, Steph Curry and the Warriors are in offseason mode. For now, at least.

The NBA reportedly is looking into having a second bubble in Chicago, where the eight teams who did not get the Orlando invite would participate in a minicamp and play a few games against each other. For Curry, that's something he doesn't sound interested in, but admits it could be beneficial for the younger Warriors.

"At the end of the day, it would be hard for me to play meaningless games, and that's pretty obvious," Curry said Friday on SportsCenter. "But in terms of young guys trying to get as much basketball to break up, for the bottom eight teams, this potential eight-, nine-month layoff, I think it's a good effort. Obviously safety first, that's what everything is about. So if they can answer those questions, then we'll see what happens."

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

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said the Warriors will be a good league partner and participate in a second bubble if one gets OK'd. But it is unlikely Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would participate in said second bubble. 

In June, coach Steve Kerr said that a minicamp-style bubble would not be something that appealed to the Warriors.

[RELATED: Curry hopes others follow his lead in social justice push]

After a 15-50 season, the Warriors will finish recharging during the extended offseason before attempting to restart their dynasty in December, when the 2020-21 season is expected to begin.

The Warriors face a crucial offseason as they look to maximize the remaining prime years of Curry, Thompson and Green. They will have a top-five draft pick and have a $17.2 million trade exception to use to add another piece around their championship core.

The second bubble doesn't have much intrigue for a team that spent the last five Junes playing in The Finals. There's little reason for Curry, Thompson or Green to suit up for exhibition games this summer. All that matters is being healthy and rested for when the games count again.