Warriors

Steph Curry explains why he flew to New York to meet with Kevin Durant

Steph Curry explains why he flew to New York to meet with Kevin Durant

For three years, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant stood atop the basketball world.

They were two pillars for the greatest collection of talent in NBA history. Three years and two titles flew by, and then, it was over. 

When free agency opened, with Curry reportedly on a plane en route to meet Durant in New York, the two-time NBA Finals MVP decided to leave the Warriors and join the Brooklyn Nets. 

Despite KD's decision being made before he got there, Curry continued on. He wasn't going to pitch Durant on staying with the Warriors as some believed. He had wanted to check on his friend and teammate who ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors earlier, but Curry had been in Asia on his Under Armour tour. He also wanted to give the proper closure to the type of three-year stretch the NBA might never see again.

"I knew full well it was decision time, whatever way he was going to go,” Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson at the American Century Golf Championship celebrity tournament about his meeting with Durant.

“There was no need to pitch. He knows what we’re about and what we accomplished. He just had to make a decision that makes him happy. That’s what everybody wants to do in this league. It was more about a respect factor, not letting the BS of this league get in the way of our relationship, and not let it change who I am or anything like that. I feel like he just knew what he wanted. And at the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for as a player.”

Durant had said all along he couldn't be recruited. After all, he is Kevin Durant. Curry knew that. So he traveled to New York to meet his fellow all-time great to show respect to the three years they had together and close the chapter on their dynastic run in the proper way. 

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As Durant begins his lengthy Achilles rehab, Curry will enter next season having to take a new approach. With Durant gone and Klay Thompson out until at least February after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the Finals, Curry and Draymond Green will have to shoulder a heavy load to keep the Warriors afloat in a revamped Western Conference

At 31 years old, it will be a lot to ask of Curry, but a challenge he undoubtedly is ready to take on.

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

To play or not to play?

That is the question facing the Warriors as the NBA nears a decision on how many teams will participate when the league resumes the 2019-20 season.

While coach Steve Kerr said the team is operating as if the season is over, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that owner Joe Lacob told his fellow owners that the team was "willing" to play if all 30 NBA teams were asked to play.

But ... Wojnarowski also reported, citing sources, that the Warriors have been "far more cool to the idea in private."

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Based on Wojnawowski's reporting from Friday, the NBA Board of Governors are expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for a 22-team restart plan later this week, meaning the Warriors -- who hold the worst record in the league -- would not be asked to play any more games this season.

The Warriors don't have anything left to play for this season. They are the only team that has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Does it make sense for the players to go through several weeks of training camp to play a handful of meaningless games?

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again,' " Warriors star Steph Curry told former teammate Anthony Morrow recently on "The Life Podcast."

[RELATED: Warriors facility opens, players show up]

Would it be advantageous for the Warriors to get a brief look at Curry playing alongside Andrew Wiggins? Sure, but they don't need to risk injury to either player when the goal is making sure the team is ready to bounce back for the 2020-21 season.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Damian Lillard created headlines last week with his comments about the NBA's potential plans for resuming the 2019-20 season.

"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team," the Portland Trail Blazers star guard told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. "But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs -- I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."

What is Steph Curry's reaction to that?

"I feel what he's saying because it's hard mentally to go with this long of gap, and then prepare for games you know don't matter," the Warriors' superstar said on the "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack. "I get it.

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again.'"

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Golden State did re-open Chase Center facilities Monday so players could work out again, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock. 

But all indications are that the Warriors won't be playing any additional games this season, and will not be included among the teams that eventually will take the court in Orlando.

[RELATED: Oakland's own Lillard rips Orlovsky for calling him spoiled]

"Between now and Thursday's vote of the board of governors on the plan to restart the season, the NBA is working to complete the details of a 22-team format," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe wrote Monday.

So for Lillard and the Blazers -- who currently sit in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference -- it appears they will get the opportunity to claw their way into the playoffs.

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