Warriors

Steph Curry relives time he made 3-pointer in Kobe Bryant's face in 2014

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AP

Steph Curry relives time he made 3-pointer in Kobe Bryant's face in 2014

DubNation, let's think back to a time before Steph Curry was an MVP and before the Warriors had won three NBA titles in five seasons.

Think back to Oct. 12, 2014.

The Warriors were playing the Los Angeles Lakers in a preseason game at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

Curry hadn't fully established himself as an all-time great. Kobe Bryant was in the twilight of his career having returned from a torn Achilles tendon.

In the third quarter, with the Warriors holding a commanding league in the exhibition game, Bryant picked Curry up full-court two possessions in a row in an attempt to bother the undersized point guard.

The second time it happened, Curry created space and nailed a step-back 3-pointer over Bryant.

In a recent interview with House of Highlight's founder Omar Raja, Curry described his mindset on that play.

"This is him, I think the year after his Achilles [tear] and he's trying to get his competitive fire back because he missed so much time. He started to pick me up full court two possessions in a row, so this is the second possession. So I took the challenge obviously. They let him foul and they didn't call that so I kinda had to work with that.

"But I came down the court and he was trying to steal it, trying to be physical. I got him with a little half step to get a little bit of space and then just pulled it from deep and obviously it went in and then his smile afterward, the little ass tap.

"I tried not to have a reaction there because I was in the moment. But afterward, I was like 'Damn, that's pretty cool' because Kobe doesn't show that type of emotion."

[RELATED: How playing with KD helped Steph]

Little did Bryant, the Lakers and the rest of the NBA know what was about to happen. The Warriors went on to win 67 games that season and reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. Curry would be named NBA MVP and lead the Warriors past the Cleveland Cavaliers to win his first NBA title.

How new NBA draft rules affect Warriors' ability to evaluate prospects

How new NBA draft rules affect Warriors' ability to evaluate prospects

The global coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, affecting how businesses function. For the NBA, the COVID-19 virus has the league's season in peril.

In the latest twist, the league is adjusting how team personnel can evaluate NBA draft prospects, and it could have a direct impact on what the Warriors do with one of the top overall picks.

The latest rule changes, reported by The Athletic and ESPN on Monday, will affect teams' preparation for the 2020 NBA Draft, which is scheduled to be held June 25 in Brooklyn, New York. Under the new structure, which adheres to social distancing guidelines, teams will be permitted to spend up to four hours in virtual meetings with a prospect during the pre-draft process. Of that time, teams can only spend two hours per week talking to each prospect.

In-person workouts or requesting that a player workout via live video have been prohibited by the league, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported.

While the rule change hurts most prospects, players like center James Wiseman and guard LaMelo Ball are greatly hindered by the development.

And the Warriors' ability to properly evaluate Wiseman and Ball is equally affected.

In just 12 games in his lone season in Australia's NBL, Ball averaged 17.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists before a foot injury cut his season short. Despite averaging double digits, he shot just 37 percent from the field against inferior competition. Ball hasn't played in a game since late November.

Meanwhile, Wiseman averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds in just three college appearances before withdrawing from Memphis amid recruiting violations. His last game was on Nov. 12.

There just isn't a lot of recent video of either player for teams to evaluate.

Each player will be subjected to digital video chats featuring general managers, coaches and front office staff. The setup isn't ideal for either side.

Players -- especially those with something to prove like Wiseman -- where hoping to make an impression on teams who have limited film. In Ball's case, he wanted a chance to show he has improved his weaknesses

For teams, it strips away the ability to evaluate a player in person, which helps get a better grasp of the human element, similar to the final step of a job interview.

[RELATED: Warriors not high on Wiseman, Ball]

The first test case of this practice is the NFL, who will hold the first virtual draft in its history later this month. Only the NFL has been able to hold its combine last month, giving teams a chance to interview players in person, providing an advantage NBA team personnel do not have. 

The Warriors personnel, along with the rest of the league, will have their work cut out for them as the coronavirus timeline continues to define a new normal for sports.

Chris Paul hilariously explains why he fake laughed at Steve Kerr joke

Chris Paul hilariously explains why he fake laughed at Steve Kerr joke

Chris Paul can laugh at some, but not all, of his history with the Warriors.

The hyper-competitive Oklahoma City Thunder point guard joked in an Instagram Live session Monday with Steph Curry about the two-time MVP's ankle-breaking crossover on Paul when he was a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. But Paul said Monday that his often-GIF'd fake laugh from an on-court conversation with Steve Kerr is, well, no laughing matter.

Kerr cracked wise with Paul, by then a member of the Houston Rockets, during the Warriors' 116-108 loss in Houston on Jan. 20, 2018. Paul hadn't forgotten the bad blood of the Clippers-Warriors rivalry from his LA days, carrying that tension to a team that the Warriors had eliminated in two of the preceding three postseasons.

The Warriors would bounce the Rockets in the 2018 Western Conference finals and again in the second round the following year. Golden State overcame a three-games-to-two series deficit in 2018 and then eliminated the Rockets in 2019 despite injuries to Kevin Durant and Andrew Bogut.

Both of Paul's playoff runs in Houston ended on the Rockets' home court at the Warriors' hands, and the Game 6 loss in last year's second round marked the final time he suited up for Houston. Paul was traded to the Thunder in exchange for Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook the following season.

[RELATED: Warriors' Paschall explains why he became two-foot jumper]

He wouldn't have had to worry about facing the Warriors this postseason, and Golden State was eliminated from playoff contention prior to the NBA suspending its season last month after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Despite that, something tells me Paul won't laugh about his fake laugh any time soon.