Warriors

NBA rumors: Warriors, Steph Curry 'took personally' how Kevin Durant left

NBA rumors: Warriors, Steph Curry 'took personally' how Kevin Durant left

In the days following Kevin Durant's announcement that he was leaving the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, more is coming to light about what possibly drove him to that decision.

There have been reports that Durant never felt properly acknowledged in the Bay Area, particularly in comparison to Steph Curry. Also, we learned Durant reportedly didn't see eye-to-eye with Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

Who knows how much of any of that is actually true. We're in the spin stage now. Everyone has a different agenda. 

Those same grains of salt should be factored into another report: That the way in which Golden State learned of Durant's decision surprised Curry and rubbed the Warriors the wrong way.

On the day Durant announced his decision, Curry flew straight from Shanghai, China to New York to meet with KD. It had previously been reported that Curry's intention was about "respect", rather than recruiting. But now, there's a conflicting report.

On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons conveyed that Curry was under an entirely different impression.

"The Warriors still feel like they have a puncher’s chance to get him," Simmons said, "enough that Curry is going to fly back from Shanghai to New York and land on Sunday night, right after free agency starts, and he has this determined time with KD to just talk with him and put a bow on everything. “Either, ‘Hey man, here’s how we feel about you,’ and convince him to stay, and if Durant’s not gonna stay they’ll talk about that."

However, Curry reportedly never got that opportunity.

"About an hour before the plane lands, all of a sudden it’s KD is gonna be announcing on his Instagram that night, all this stuff and Curry’s like, ‘What’s going on?’" Simmons continued. "And then it gets announced he’s signing with Brooklyn. Curry’s plane hasn’t landed yet. He lands and decides to do the dignified thing and he goes to meet KD anyway, basically to say goodbye to him.

"But, from what I’ve heard, the Warriors took that personally."

[RELATED: Rick Barry confused by KD's decision to leave Warriors]

If that's what went down, and if the Warriors truly did take it personally, we've yet to get any sort of obvious indication. Quite the opposite, actually. Teams typically don't retire the jersey number -- even unofficially -- of a player that just spurned them, particularly in the fashion that Simmons reported.

So, around and around we go. This ride isn't coming to a stop anytime soon.

Warriors were ready to boycott game after Donald Sterling audio release

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AP

Warriors were ready to boycott game after Donald Sterling audio release

The 2014 NBA playoffs saw Adam Silver handed his toughest test as NBA commissioner just a few months into the job.

After TMZ published a phone recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling going on a racist rant to his mistress V. Stiviano. Sterling had been a black stain on the NBA for his entire history as Clippers owner, but the recording put Silver on the clock.

The players wanted Sterling thrown out of the league for good post-haste. 

While the Sterling tape was dominating the headlines, the Clippers and Warriors were locked in a hotly contested first-round playoff series. Ahead of Game 5 at Staples Center, Warriors general manager Bob Myers called team president Rick  Welts to tell him the players were prepared to make a stand if Silver's punishment wasn't up to snuff. 

"'These guys are going to walk off the floor,'" Welts recalled to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "He was with the team that morning and said the vibe around the team -- maybe both teams -- was that if this doesn't go the way the players want it to go that they could walk out on the floor and then walk right off and not play the game that night."

Former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was more than ready to take a stand if Silver lacked the conviction to do what was necessary.

"I was all-in. Like shut down the whole season," Iguodala said. "Maybe that was too far, but as far as that game that day, you can reschedule it, you gotta sort this thing out, because there's some deep-rooted stuff with him that had to be addressed."

Draymond Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock that the boycott was a full-go. 

"I remember everybody talking like if Adam Silver don't come down with a tough enough post and we don't think it's right, we're not playing tonight," Green said.

Had the Clippers and Warriors elected not to play Game 5, it's a moment that would have gone down as one of the most important and momentous acts in sports history and in the overall arc of the fight for social justice and equality in America.

"If we didn't play," former Clipper Jamal Crawford said, "I think that honestly it would have outlived us. They would be talking about that while we're not here anymore.

"It's never happened. At that magnitude, at that level."

[RELATED: Dubs of East? Hawks building something with young core]

The stand, as you know, was not needed.

Silver stood in front of the world and banned Sterling from the NBA for life, leading to him selling the team to Steve Ballmer.

The Clippers went on to win the series in seven games.

Warriors of the East? Hawks GM building something with young nucleus

Warriors of the East? Hawks GM building something with young nucleus

Some players continue to await a contract offer. Others are under contract with one team but would rather play elsewhere. Every team sees Carmelo Anthony on the shelf and keeps shopping.

Team USA is facing its biggest roster-building challenge in decades. The Lakers are holding open tryouts. And, by the way, training camps open in a little more than a month.

As we sprint into the second half of perhaps the most fascinating summer in NBA history, it’s a good time to take note of what has transpired. News, notes and quotes from around the NBA:

News the Warriors didn’t need

The Mavericks re-signed point guard J.J. Barea to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Barea has a reputation as a good locker room guy, and he often finds ways to hurt the Warriors with his shooting. The pesky 5-9 veteran is a big reason why Dallas, one of the league’s weakest teams in recent years, has somehow beaten the vastly superior Warriors three times over the past four seasons.

Putting his teacher's hat on

“I’m looking forward to it. We have a lot of young guys coming in, more than we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with them on a regular basis. I hope I can make an impact.” – Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, who next season will operate with a reduced travel schedule while focusing primarily on player development.

The league needs more of this man

Marreese Speights. He reportedly is one of three big men being considered by the Lakers, who are reeling from the loss of DeMarcus Cousins. The other two, Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard, are bigger names, but neither has ever lit up an arena as Speights has. With his deep shooting, his inviting smile and his front-porch philosophy, he can get buckets while charming anyone crossing his path. Ask the Warriors. We’re shamelessly rooting for Mo.

We also admit, this would be, um, interesting

Howard returning to the Lakers. It would be a sequel to one of the most explosive soap operas in the 21st century NBA. Kobe Bryant’s disgust with Howard when they were teammates was epic and still echoes throughout Staples Center. Should there be a reunion, Howard will be joining his seventh team in less than 50 months, counting the Lakers twice. We wonder, though, if any ex-Laker who was a target of Kobe’s scorn has any real chance of making it in LA.

Big man faces 100,000-foot mountain

Cousins’ road back will be unlike that of any other player in NBA history, according to Jeff Stotts, a certified trainer that tracks and analyzes injuries across various sports through his cleverly named website “In Street Clothes.” Stotts tells The Ringer he could not find even one example of a player sustaining both a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and a torn ACL. Which makes Boogie the inaugural test as the worst-case scenario for NBA player’s lower body. We hope he recovers. He’ll deserve the standing ovation he gets upon his return – whether it’s with the Lakers or another team.

Speaking of ex-Lakers and Kobe’s scorn

Whatever happened to Smush Parker? Well, Smush, 38, was most recently affiliated with the LA Superstars of the Primetime Basketball League, a well-intentioned creation of former NBA player and coach Byron Scott.

Still the best . . . we think

With De’Aaron Fox withdrawing from the training roster, Team USA took 13 players to Australia, where the final three exhibitions will be played over the next seven days. Someone still must be cut before the team heads to China next week, the FIBA World Cup opener is scheduled for Sept. 1. Among the candidates to be sent home are Harrison Barnes, Mason Plumlee and maybe even terrific shooter Joe Harris. Can’t imagine coach Gregg Popovich cutting his only Spur, Derrick White, who can fill in at point guard.

Warriors East in the making?

Preparing for his third season as Hawks GM, Travis Schlenk received a contract extension while also adding a title this week: President of basketball operations. He went to Atlanta to rebuild, and there are indications he’s getting it done. Around a nucleus of point guard Trae Young, center-forward John Collins and sharpshooting guard Kevin Huerter, Schlenk added a strong draft that included small forwards De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. In a poll of rookies entering the NBA, Reddish was voted the player from this class likely to have the best career.

He’ll always have ‘Linsanity’

Jeremy Lin turns 31 on Friday and feels he may have cycled out of the NBA. He’s probably right. He began last season with Hawks before being waived in February. Signed by Toronto two days later, he played decent minutes – until the roster gained full health. After spending the playoffs on the distant end of the Raptors’ bench, J-Lin questions whether there is a place for him in the NBA. He reportedly is considering an offer from the Beijing Ducks worth a little more than $3 million.

The OGs

“They basically are Bird, Parish and McHale and they deserve to retire after a very, very long tenure with the Warriors. They deserve to retire in that uniform and not play for any other franchise. That’s what they have earned. And that’s the way they view the Bay Area and the Warriors and how much they love playing there. I can’t see Steph and Draymond playing for anybody else.” – Lakers analyst Mychal Thompson, on his son, Klay, along with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green during the Warriors Insider Podcast this week.

[RELATED: Where Warriors fit in award conversation]

Send good thoughts overseas

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt announced this week that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Blatt, 60, has no plans to retire. He currently is coaching Olympiacos of the Greek Basket League. Guard Will Cherry, a former start at McClymonds High in Oakland, is on the roster.