Steph Curry discusses Kevin Durant's departure, Warriors expectations

Steph Curry discusses Kevin Durant's departure, Warriors expectations

Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins are gone, and Klay Thompson will miss a big portion of next season as he recovers from a torn ACL.

For the first time since the start of the 2014-15 campaign, the Warriors are not the favorites to win the NBA championship.

Steph Curry is fine with that because his approach will not change whatsoever.

“A lot of changes,” Curry told Ron Kroichick of The San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday. “It’ll develop as we get together as a group. For us, myself, Klay, Draymond, adding D’Angelo and a lot of hungry young guys trying to prove themselves, it will look different.

"But the expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won’t change. I’m excited about it.”

Curry reportedly found out that KD was going to sign with the Brooklyn Nets when he was on a plane from China to New York to meet with the two-time NBA Finals MVP face-to-face.

The Warriors reportedly took this personally, but Curry didn't sound bitter Thursday when discussing Durant.

“The three years we had were special," he said. "We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group.

"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn’t mean you can put it all together ... I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that, and be extremely proud of that run.

"Now we try to re-create that.”

[RELATEDReport: Durant demanded Warriors give Nets first-round pick]

The only unanimous MVP in NBA history is in Tahoe this week to play in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.

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Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Klay Thompson has been around the NBA his entire life, both during his father Mychal Thompson’s career and now as an All-Star guard for the Golden State Warriors.

In May, Thompson spoke to the media about the first time he met Michael Jordan, when he was at a Portland Trail Blazers game in 1998. Klay and his family were living in Lake Oswego, Ore. at the time, and his dad was able to get the boys a chance to meet MJ and Scottie Pippen after the game.

Footage has now surfaced of that encounter, featuring the trio of Thompson boys meeting the NBA Hall of Famers for the first time.

Despite the lack of sound, it’s clear that the boys were blown away -- as just about any basketball fan at the time would be -- by the chance to meet NBA royalty.

[RELATED: Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says]

Klay, of course, had the least star-struck reaction as he just got his autograph and walked away, while his brothers stuck around.

I'm sure Jordan had no idea that he was signing an autograph for a kid who would grow up to win three NBA championships and receive two All-NBA accolades, all before his 30th birthday.

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is just a movie, but this is for real: Dwight Howard is expected to be back in Los Angeles and sign with the Lakers, six years after his first run in purple and gold. 

Howard's agent told The Athletic's Shams Charania the center has completed a buyout with the Grizzlies and will sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers. 

This comes after the news that former Warriors and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL nearly two weeks ago. Cousins, who signed a one-year contract with the Lakers this offseason, was expected to be L.A.'s starting center this season, but that now could fall to Howard. 

Though ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Howard's contract with the Lakers is non-guaranteed, it's likely he makes the team. L.A. currently has just one natural center on their roster, former Warrior JaVale McGee, and he's better suited as a lob threat off the bench. 

That's the problem. McGee and Howard essentially fill the same roles for the Lakers. They both can swat shots and finish dunks. Besides that, they don't offer much. 

Howard also has dealt with multiple injuries in the past and only played in nine games last season with the Washington Wizards due to a gluteal injury. In his last healthy season, the 33-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2017-18 campaign. 

Replacing Cousins with McGee is a downgrade for the Lakers, but an upgrade for the Warriors and Kings when it comes to playoff seeding. Golden State is viewed as having a similar regular-season record as L.A. next season while the Kings are looking to end a 13-year playoff drought. 

[RELATED: Six Warriors storylines you should watch for next season]

The last time Howard was a Laker, things went haywire on and off the court in Hollywood. Will the script be flipped this time? 

Howard could have quite the redemption story, but it would be a bold bet by an outsider.