Miami's new coach blames Kevin Durant for football recruiting challenges


Miami's new coach blames Kevin Durant for football recruiting challenges

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Friday night at 6 p.m. PT streaming live on the MyTeams app.

First, Kevin Durant ruined the NBA by signing with the Warriors (oh wait, he didn't).

Now, Durant has ruined the University of Miami's football program (also not true).

Are you ready to laugh? 

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast -- Klay explodes for 43; Cousins' return date]

The new football coach at The U -- Manny Diaz -- recently talked about recruiting and how important it is to keep the top players in the Miami region at home.

“Sometimes it just takes one," Diaz told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. "Sometimes it just takes that one guy that’s like, ‘I’m staying’ and then it goes ... look, the world has changed, and I’m going to blame the NBA.

"Once Kevin Durant went to the Warriors after they were 3-1 up when he was at Oklahoma City — kids want to go where the winning is. So, that’s hard because you have to create the winning to get them to come to where the winning is.

"So, there’s a natural tendency to be drawn to the places that are currently on top, which, that’s fair."

Have you stopped laughing yet? Because I have not and probably won't be able to for awhile.

Here's to hoping that Texas ends up playing Miami in a bowl game in the near future. If that happens, Durant needs to be on the sideline cheering on his Longhorns.

The Warriors play at the Heat on Feb. 27. Don't expect the two-time Finals MVP to swing through Coral Gables to give the football team a motivational speech...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

DeMarcus Cousins explains his mindset in return to NBA, Warriors debut

DeMarcus Cousins explains his mindset in return to NBA, Warriors debut

DeMarcus Cousins isn’t concerned about what others might think about him. Yes, he’s stubborn, he admits, and he’ll be even more so when he returns to the court Friday night with the Warriors.

“Absolutely. Absolutely,” Cousins told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in a sit-down interview this week.

The six-time All-Star center’s recovery from his Achilles injury has taken a year, and when he steps on the court at Staples Center against the Clippers, the Warriors hope he’ll solve their riddle in the middle. Whether or not he can perform at the expected level depends on how his Achilles holds up, so Cousins sought counsel from Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who suffered a similar injury during his storied career.

“He just basically tells me to attack it,” Cousins said. “Once you realize you are healed, like, don't think about it. Just go forward. …

“One thing that Dominique also spoke on is -- they don't know your heart, and they don't know your drive. So you know, the people that do know me, they know I can be very stubborn. I don't like to be proved wrong.”

[RELATED: Why Boogie believes Warriors are most hated team in sports]

Cousins, however, hopes to prove people wrong, even if he can’t change their minds about who he is, with his history of outburst and technical fouls mixed with prolific scoring and routine double-doubles.

"I can't live worrying about what the next man thinks,” Cousins said. “I know who I am as a person. And the people that matter around me know who I am. So, it is what it is.”

Let the fun begin …

Warriors 'witnessing greatness' as Steph Curry goes off to beat Pelicans

Warriors 'witnessing greatness' as Steph Curry goes off to beat Pelicans

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry came off a double screen inching closer to the 3-point line, but still well beyond it. The Warriors point guard still couldn’t find open space.

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis came bearing down, with a long arm aimed to disrupt his shooting motion.

That sure seemed like a low percentage shot. Not for Steph. Not during a torrid third quarter where he simply couldn’t miss.

If that was a heat check, it proved Curry was still scalding. Jaws dropped when that one went through, as part of a surge that lifted the Warriors to a 147-140 win over the Pelicans at Oracle Arena.

Curry had 41 points on the night, with 23 in a third quarter where he went 7-of-8 from beyond the arc.

Many of those were fantasy shots for most. They are practiced, often coreographed and at times perfected by the NBA’s finest distance shooter.

“Sometimes, when you get hot like that, you can’t see anything but the rim,” Curry said. “You just try to stay on balance and get to your spot, wherever that is. Again, these are shots I work on. I have confidence in them. I know my teammates do.”

Kevin Durant’s a rare talent in his own right, and even he has to stop and applaud.

“He’s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent, and his movements are so smooth that he makes it look so easy,” Durant said, after scoring 30 points of his own. “When he’s knocking down those shots, it’s just a joy to see.”

Curry was virtually unstoppable in the second half, securing his sixth 40-point game of the season by hitting 11-of-22 shots, including 9-of-17 from three-point range.

The Warriors matched a franchise record with 24 three-pointers made on a franchise record 49 attempts. They’ve ramped up their 3-point efforts lately, something opposing teams have done while trying to beat Golden State in a season that has featured more close games then usual for the defending champs.

[RELATED: Warriors, Pelicans break Golden State's own 3-point record]

Head coach Steve Kerr cited No. 30 being healthy again for this 3-point surge.

“Steph just changes the whole equation,” Kerr said. “It really does come down to Steph being back, because the tempo goes back up. He shot 17 threes tonight. That’s the difference. He’s going to get a ton of them up.”

Some of them are standard, open shots taken close to the 3-point line. Others, however, would seem wacky taken by most everyone else.

Curry going on crazy runs is commonplace around these parts, but even other sharpshooters still marvel at his shots and their at-times shocking degree of difficulty.

“It’s incredible,” fellow guard Klay Thompson said. “Pull up off the dribble from 30-plus feet -- it’s insane. I’m witnessing greatness.”