Warriors

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.'"

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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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Steph Curry offers thoughts on Warriors playing in second NBA bubble

Steph Curry offers thoughts on Warriors playing in second NBA bubble

As 22 NBA teams get acclimated to the bubble in Orlando, Steph Curry and the Warriors are in offseason mode. For now, at least.

The NBA reportedly is looking into having a second bubble in Chicago, where the eight teams who did not get the Orlando invite would participate in a minicamp and play a few games against each other. For Curry, that's something he doesn't sound interested in, but admits it could be beneficial for the younger Warriors.

"At the end of the day, it would be hard for me to play meaningless games, and that's pretty obvious," Curry said Friday on SportsCenter. "But in terms of young guys trying to get as much basketball to break up, for the bottom eight teams, this potential eight-, nine-month layoff, I think it's a good effort. Obviously safety first, that's what everything is about. So if they can answer those questions, then we'll see what happens."

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said the Warriors will be a good league partner and participate in a second bubble if one gets OK'd. But it is unlikely Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green would participate in said second bubble. 

In June, coach Steve Kerr said that a minicamp-style bubble would not be something that appealed to the Warriors.

[RELATED: Curry hopes others follow his lead in social justice push]

After a 15-50 season, the Warriors will finish recharging during the extended offseason before attempting to restart their dynasty in December, when the 2020-21 season is expected to begin.

The Warriors face a crucial offseason as they look to maximize the remaining prime years of Curry, Thompson and Green. They will have a top-five draft pick and have a $17.2 million trade exception to use to add another piece around their championship core.

The second bubble doesn't have much intrigue for a team that spent the last five Junes playing in The Finals. There's little reason for Curry, Thompson or Green to suit up for exhibition games this summer. All that matters is being healthy and rested for when the games count again.

Warriors' Steph Curry leading by example in racial, social justice push

Warriors' Steph Curry leading by example in racial, social justice push

Programming Note: “Race and Sports in America: Conversations” airs Monday at 5 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area.

If you’ve followed the arc of Stephen Curry’s adult life, you know his priorities beyond basketball include faith, being a model husband and father, aiding the unprivileged, funding worthy causes and speaking up for justice and equality.

The optics are good. What’s more impressive are the indications that this is how he lives.

What you might not know is that the Warriors superstar -- the most beloved and admired athlete in the Bay Area -- has been energized by the tumultuous events this year that generated global outrage and sparked a movement in hopes of humanizing all Americans.

“Everybody has a role in this,” Curry said during a panel discussion conducted by NBC Sports during the American Century Championship golf tournament in Lake Tahoe.

“You think about the protests, the participation on every different side of the conversation, to the impact of social media, people just posting and reposting and sharing information,” Curry added. “That’s important.

“You've got people in the streets that have been -- you’ve got real-life activists that do this for a living. They do this and have been doing it for years. And now we just need to support them. Send resources. Volunteer your time. Put them on a pedestal, because we don't know all the answers.”

[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]

When teammate Juan Anderson-Toscano organized a rally in Oakland last month, Curry and his wife, Ayesha, were there, walking the streets with hundreds of others, demonstrating collective indignation at the tragic killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor -- all unarmed Black Americans slain this year in the name of law enforcement.

“(Sports figures) have the ability to kind of ignite those kinds of efforts and again be able to put people in position to really make change,” Curry said. “One of our main goals is knowing the platform we have, knowing what sports has given us in our lives, the people. If you say anything, it's going to be a headline. So why not use it.”

Curry during the tournament wore shoes depicting Taylor’s name and likeness. While prize money goes to a number of charities, including the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI.org), Curry will donate his shoes to Black Lives Matter to be auctioned, with proceeds earmarked for BLM.

Count Curry among the growing number of sports figures, aware that some Americans are disillusioned with elections, raising their voices on the subject of voting. On the visor he wore during the final round Sunday was a button urging people to vote.

Former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, an Oakland native 2007 National League MVP, joined Charles Barkley, Ozzie Smith and Curry on the panel. When Rollins emphasized the importance of voting in local elections, Curry was quick to echo the sentiments.

“That's where the real change happens,” Curry said, expressing his dismay over voter suppression tactics in some regions.

“And that's something that is so ... the sense of urgency in that to me is so real, because we'll go out in November and then we'll be coming up in the next cycle, and we need to have our voices heard at the polls to again hold people in positions of authority and power accountable for looking out for everybody, equally.”

Though Curry’s celebrity status provides a measure of insulation from some of the racial animosity often directed by law enforcement and other sectors of society, he realizes it’s not a bullet-proof shield. Nor is he allowed the comfort of believing his children, two daughters and a son, will be immune from profiling.

“As a young father, with a seven-year-old and a five-year-old, the questions that they're asking, because they're being shown these images, you can't really -- you can't and you shouldn't, really -- shield them from this,” Curry said. “And the way that we go about as parents talking to them, being honest and truthful about how society has been for 400 plus years and all that we are trying to do collectively to take this moment, turn it into a movement and keep applying pressure to change our experience, I think it's rewarding.

“But knowing that you might not see the results right away, we have to continue to double down and double down and keep people accountable in all walks of life, all industries, all forms of leadership, the judicial system, all those types of things. And hopefully for my kids’ generation, their kids, we will see change.”

[RELATED: Curry calls on people to get uncomfortable to enact change]

Curry is, by nature, an optimist. It’s the outlook he had to have growing up with ears burning from the words and whispers of those who doubted his abilities. It’s easier for him to remain optimistic knowing his adult life is bringing so many things others never thought he’d have.

Witnessing the demographics of the protests, there is good reason to feel positive.

Given the realization that his voice carries beyond the basketball court, there is good reason to believe Curry will remain engaged in the fight to make America a better nation.