Warriors

Warriors

No professional sports team has a playbook for dealing with a global pandemic.

No one knows how to deal with team facilities being closed and athletes being confined to their homes for several months.

But everyone involved is trying to make the most of the coronavirus shutdown. Zoom conference calls have replaced in-person meetings.

While Warriors guard Steph Curry is enjoying the extra time around wife Ayesha and their three kids, he's missing out on valuable time with a lot of his young teammates.

In an interview with ESPN's Doris Burke for the Jr. NBA Leadership Conference on Friday, Curry admitted he hasn't been doing a great job of connecting with his Warriors teammates during the two-month stay-at-home order.

"We're in a very unique situation, we're so new to each other," Curry said. "So many new faces that this year was always about trying to get to know each other, the 'bridge year,' trying to get back on top. Obviously, with injuries and all the rest, so that flowed right into this suspension where it's been hard, to be honest. The thing about the stuff we were talking about earlier, from a family perspective and your close circles, and now as a parent, there's a lot of time that's invested in those relationships, and from a work standpoint, I'm so used to having that drive to the practice facility, and the four to five to six hours we're at the gym, where it's just kind of natural conversation, and you start to get to know people over time, because you really can't force that stuff. And so that's kinda taken away. It's been difficult."

 

Unlike past seasons when the Warriors had a veteran-laden roster, this year's group has 10 players with three years or less of NBA experience, including six rookies.

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Curry himself is now the oldest and longest-tenured player on the Warriors roster. Whereas Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston might have served as the old sage voices in the room in past seasons, that duty now falls on Curry, and he's not able to do that in a face-to-face manner right now.

"The thing that's been eye-opening to me is just how important those relationships are to what we do on the court," Curry said. "It's not just about putting talent together. It's about that chemistry and whatnot. So honestly, I haven't been doing a great job of it and I hold myself to a high standard of leadership, so trying to find ways to have good balance, but checking in on the young guys who -- I can't imagine if I was a rookie coming into this league and trying to figure everything out, and you get hit with the postponement of the season. So being trapped in your house and not having anywhere to go and being in a different city and all that. Long answer to say, I'm working on it."

While Curry isn't doing a great job on his own, he did acknowledge that the team is jumping on Zoom calls in an attempt to bond.

"The things we're trying to do now from a team perspective, having calls like this where we can ask -- we don't even talk basketball, it's just 'Hey, what's going on?' " Curry said. "Do some workouts twice a week where everybody can at least be connected on that front, know we're doing the same stuff. I think the biggest message we set going in, myself, Draymond and Klay, was, big picture, there are a lot of things that are way more important than basketball in terms of us getting through this virus and families going through a lot of hardships.

"But when basketball does come back, we have a prime opportunity to reclaim where we were and it's going to come with a lot of hard work and it's going to look entirely different but hopefully everybody's buying into it and doing whatever you can in this meantime to make sure you're well mentally and physically."

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No one knows if or when the 2019-20 NBA season will resume, and if the Warriors will be asked to play any or all of their final 17 regular-season games. While the Warriors haven't opened their facility in San Francisco, other NBA teams have, so the resumption of the season could be on the horizon.

In the meantime, Curry can work on his Zoom calls to his teammates.