Warriors

Steph Curry has more to prove next year than James Harden, analyst says

Steph Curry has more to prove next year than James Harden, analyst says

With Kevin Durant bolting for Brooklyn and Klay Thompson sidelined for months with a torn ACL, the fate of the Warriors' 2019-20 season will fall on the shoulders of Steph Curry. It will reside on Curry to lead the five-time defending Western Conference champions back to the playoffs for the eighth straight year, something that not everyone thinks he can do.

But regardless of whether Curry leads the Warriors to the promised land or not, his résumé speaks for itself. Three championships, two MVPs and countless NBA records will do that for you.

Well, unless you’re ESPN analyst Damon Jones.

Jones went on “First Take” on Friday morning and was asked which player has more to prove in the 2019-20 NBA season: Curry or Rockets guard James Harden.

“Steph Curry,” Jones said. “KD is gone. Klay Thompson is going to be out maybe four, five, six months. [Steph] has to show up. He has to show why when the 'pundits say' this is Steph Curry’s team, or his franchise.

“And he has never, never, took a team to the playoffs without two All-Stars on the team. James Harden has. So for me, that’s where the pressure lies. He has to get this team to the playoffs with limited, limited, players.”

OK Damon, let’s get this straight. Curry, a three-time champion who has eliminated Harden’s Rockets in four of the last five postseasons, has more to prove this year than Harden? Curry -- with Durant injured -- scored 33 points in the second half of Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals to end Houston’s season … but somehow he still needs to show more than Harden, who has wilted in the playoffs every year?

As Veronica Corningstone famously said in the movie “Anchorman:" There’s just no way that’s correct.

On Jones’ second point, well, he’s just flat-out wrong. Curry (somehow) was not selected as an All-Star in the 2012-13 season -- teammate David Lee was -- but Steph still led the Dubs to their first playoff berth since 2007, which included an upset of the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2013-14, Curry was the lone All-Star on the Warriors and helped them make the playoffs again, where they fell to the Clippers in seven games in the first round. 

That offseason, Mark Jackson was fired as Golden State's coach, Steve Kerr took the reigns, and Curry’s rise to a superstar -- and his teammates Thompson and Draymond Green’s ascension to All-Stars -- unfolded as we know it.

[RELATED: NBA scouts break down Warriors' playoff hopes for next season]

Another day, another analyst who gets it wrong about Steph Curry.

What else does the man have to do for it to end?

Watch NBA rookies try to guess Warriors guard Jordan Poole's nickname

Watch NBA rookies try to guess Warriors guard Jordan Poole's nickname

The best part of any of the sports reference websites is when you discover the nicknames of athletes, and whether the height listed is accurate.

But some might not even be aware of these nicknames, even Ty Jerome was unaware he's been dubbed as "Milk."

NBA TV had some fun quizzing rookies and their classmates about the nicknames Basketball Reference had listed on the website. And it went about as you would expect it to be:

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole's "Microwave" nickname was guessed rather easily.

The microwave nickname came when he was asked if he knew who the original "Microwave," Vinne Johnson was. He was young and didn't quite know who he was, but it ended up sticking. 

Plus, the fact that he scores fast and "heats up" quickly adds to the comparison.

[RELATED: Iggy catches Steph looking stunned in photo]

He likes it, even suggesting "The Microwave Part II."

If you don't know, now you know. 

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 handling his toughest test as NBA commissioner just a few months into the job.

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.