The Warriors reportedly will open the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn against the Nets, with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green facing former teammate Kevin Durant.
Three days later, the Warriors will be in Milwaukee, where MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo -- a Golden State fantasy acquisition -- will be waiting.
There is, it seems, an explicit message being sent to the Warriors -- “Show us what you’ve got, immediately” -- through the 2020-21 NBA schedule, and it’s not lost on Curry.
“It's exciting,” he said Wednesday. “Throw us right into the familiarity with K (Durant) but also with teams that are expected to be at the top of each conference, or the Eastern Conference. And then, we kind of get a good gauge of where we are right out the gate.
“We’re going to have to play every team at some point. I know the excitement around the NBA being back and the Christmas Day slate and all that ... it’s going to be dope.”
Though the full NBA schedule is expected to be released later this week, the usual teases and leaks have revealed some of the marquee games. The Warriors, after posting a league-worst 15-50 record, reportedly will face the Nets on Dec. 22 before confronting the Bucks on Christmas Day.
“I’ve got to figure out what we're going to do in Milwaukee for Christmas,” Curry joked. “But other than that, it's going to be pretty awesome just to be playing basketball again. I'm excited, man, it's going to be here before you know it.”
Through their interactions as teammates and practice partners, Curry and Durant developed a mutual respect that endures. They both understand the desire to be great and are equally willing to put in the required work.
Neither Curry nor Durant was active when the teams met last Feb. 5 in Brooklyn. Curry was recovering from surgery to repair his fractured left hand. Durant was rehabilitating his right Achilles tendon, which was torn eight months earlier in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against Toronto -- his last game as a Warrior.
That the two shared an embrace in February is not surprising, for not only was Curry among the teammates to escort Durant into the locker room afterward but his eyes also welled up upon realizing KD had sustained such a devastating injury.
When the Warriors head for Milwaukee, it’s conceivable that Curry and Antetokounmpo will greet each other in advance. They’ve formed a public friendship that has fueled some of the speculation that Giannis, should he seek to leave the Bucks, would consider the Warriors a leading contender for his services.
For now, Curry, Green and the rest of the Warriors want nothing more than to depart Brooklyn and Milwaukee in late December with a couple victories.