Warriors

Steph Curry responds to President Donald Trump's Steve Kerr comments

Steph Curry responds to President Donald Trump's Steve Kerr comments

SAN FRANCISCO -- The controversy between the NBA and China has found its way to the White House.  

Shortly after Warriors coach Steve Kerr finished his media availability Wednesday afternoon, a clip surfaced of US President Donald Trump calling Kerr "a little boy" for his response to the controversy between the NBA, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and China. 

During his presidency, Trump has been no stranger to criticizing sports figures -- specifically the Warriors and guard Steph Curry. Minutes after Trump's statement, Curry defended Kerr and echoed his coach's sentiments from earlier this week. 

"I gotta welcome Steve to the club," Curry joked following Wednesday's practice. "That's kind of par for the course there."

Trump's comments come nearly a week after Morey tweeted and deleted “stand with Hong Kong” in support of protests happening in the city. The tweet caused a firestorm in China, as country officials denounced the tweet and Chinese shoe companies Li Ning and Anta paused sponsorships with the Rockets. This week, CCTV -- China's state-run broadcast company -- announced they canceled NBA preseason coverage.

Following the Warriors' open practice Monday, Kerr opted not to speak on the China-NBA controversy, saying he didn't know enough about the situation. Two days later, Curry echoed his coach's sentiments. 

"I think with this one, it's a leaguewide situation and our presence in China, it's just a different conversation," Curry added. "Coach talks about gun violence and gender equality and things that for us as being spokespeople for people who can't speak for themselves and our communities that make a huge impact. This situation has a huge weight and gravity to it and there are some things that need to be sorted out but I just don't know about Chinese history and how that's influenced modern society and that interaction to speak on it. 

"... I'm not dodging the question. I've had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life so I need to sit down. Something this big that involves the entire landscape of the league and of course with a country like China, like that's something you're not walking into lightheartedly saying stuff off the cuff." 

For years, the Warriors have been the poster team for statements on social issues, ranging from gun-control to equal pay. But in recent days, the team has been mum about the issue. Following Kerr's comments, the coach faced criticism by not giving a forceful statement, with some observers calling Kerr's non-comment hypocritical. On Wednesday, Curry defended his coach.

"We've always been outspoken," Curry said. "As far as I can remember, in terms of our organization and all that but from the league and China and just our presence there and the way we've been building the business it's an interesting situation because there's so much history involved and I don't know that history well enough to kind of speak on it or form an opinion yet."

Trump isn't new to criticizing the Warriors. Following the team's 2017 championship, with the team mulling a customary White House house visit, Trump "disinvited" the team. 

"Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team," Trump wrote. "Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!" 

On Wednesday, Curry seemed perplexed when asked why Trump has called the team out. 

"It's weird, just cause I figured he'd have other things better to do with his time," Curry said. "But those kind of conversations you hope are just productive and whatever the issue is or the narrative or whatever it is, hopefully, the majority reaction is people figuring out a solution to what we're talking about or having productive conversations beyond just words and 140 character tweets at people." 

The NBA's reaction to Morey's tweet has been mixed. In the fallout, NBA executives also denounced Morey's comments. Nets majority owner Joseph Tsai -- who owns Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba -- said Morey's comments "will take a long time to repair.” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass called Morey's comments "regrettable."  League commissioner Adam Silver said he wouldn't punish Morey for his tweet and hoped he could repair the league's relationship with China.

The controversy involving the NBA has unique implications for members of Golden State's roster. Guard Jacob Evans, big man Kevon Looney and guard Klay Thompson all have shoe contracts with Chinese company Anta. Additionally, Curry -- who has a sneaker and apparel deal with Under Armour -- routinely has taken promotional trips to the country. Under the current climate, Curry was non-commital about his business relationship with the country going forward. 

[RELATED: Kerr's silence shows NBA-China relationship is league's third rail]

"I'm not sure, Curry said. "I've done it for the last six years and honestly I've enjoyed my times there so that's been a big part of my summer routine and my experience and like I said, I've enjoyed it. But I don't know how it will affect it at all at this point."

As far as Trump's words affecting the Warriors season, Curry said it wouldn't. 

"I think we all have a good barometer of how to focus on basketball when we need to but this is a business, this is about growing the game," he said. "Not only domestically, but internationally and the opportunity that's out there across many countries, including China."  

Ky Bowman proving to be a keeper as Warriors' lone bright spot in loss

Ky Bowman proving to be a keeper as Warriors' lone bright spot in loss

Ky Bowman entered American Airlines Center in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon knowing only that he was going to play. He’s healthy, he’s a Warrior and these days that ensures minutes.

Not before tipoff against the Mavericks, Bowman got a mild surprise. He would be in the starting lineup, the nominal replacement for three-time All-Star Draymond Green.

Just like that, the undrafted rookie point guard -- operating on a two-way contract that signifies him as a fringe NBA player -- was in charge of being the Warriors’ court general.

And lead, Bowman did.

His teammates, however, didn’t do much following. The Warriors were rolled by the Mavericks, 142-94, and there never was much doubt.

In the kind of game every Warrior might want to forget -- blown out, lots of garbage time -- Bowman showed well. He performed at least as well as the coaching staff could have wanted: 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including 2-of-3 from deep. He was the only Warrior to shoot at least 50 percent, and one of two without a turnover.

“It’s just a blessing for me to be here, to get with this opportunity,” Bowman told reporters in Dallas. “Just being able to be here with these guys and just learn and pick up things every night is big for me.”

Bowman displayed the kind of characteristics associated with smallish, pugnacious players, such as Clippers guard Patrick Beverley and Lakers guard Avery Bradley. His game is all about tenacity.

“Ky’s really tough, and he’s very competitive,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s doesn’t ever back down from anything or anybody. He’s not ever afraid out there.”

That’s the only way Bowman knows how to play. He’s 6-foot-1 at most, a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s physique. He grew up in Havelock, N.C. thinking more about football than basketball. By the time he glimpsed his hoops future, football had become his mentality.

Not that it helped much against Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who is at least six inches taller and 45 pounds heavier than Bowman.

Luka owned this game, with 35 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. There wasn’t much Bowman or any other Warrior could do about it.

Which did not keep Bowman from trying.

“I mean it’s hard when someone is going like that, so just try to disrupt him in any way you can,” he said.

“I’m still going to pick up 94.”

The “pick up 94” reference relates to the 94-foot length of the court. It implies Bowman is willing, even eager, to defend every inch. It is, he says, his mindset.

That focus and intensity is what impressed the Warriors enough to offer the two-way contract. They could not have known they would lose superstar point guard Stephen Curry four games into the season, or that backup Jacob Evans III would play only three games before being sidelined for more than a month.

Or that combo guard D’Angelo Russell, who assumed Curry’s role once Stephen went town, would miss three games with a mild ankle sprain and then sustain a thumb sprain that has kept him off the court since last Friday.

This series of events shoved Bowman, who expected to spend most of the season with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League, into heavier NBA minutes than anticipated. He played 32 minutes in Dallas in a game the Warriors would like to bury.

“Flush it down the toilet,” Kerr said. “Literally, you just move on. You don’t take anything from a game like this.”

[RELATED: Warriors realizing Burks is a dependable scorer this season]

Said Bowman: “I say we just learn from this. We play again, you know? That’s the good thing about the NBA, is that there are so many games ahead. So just learning from this one and moving on to the next one.”

Regardless of Green’s status against the Jazz on Friday, Bowman can expect a lot of Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley. He’ll be mentally ready for the challenge, no matter the outcome.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 142-94 blowout loss to Mavericks

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 142-94 blowout loss to Mavericks

BOX SCORE

One night after their most complete performance of this season, the Warriors delivered perhaps their most forgettable game in five-plus seasons under coach Steve Kerr.

There were three-foot airballs, in-bounds passes to courtside fans and a whopping rebound deficit Wednesday night in a 142-94 loss to the Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Taking the court roughly 21 hours after a 114-95 win at Memphis, the Warriors dressed the NBA-minimum eight players, then fell behind quickly and never threatened in losing for the eighth time in nine games.

Here are three takeaways from the most lopsided loss in Kerr's tenure. 

One of those nights

Already without seven players, including three All-Stars, Draymond Green was declared out after a pregame workout left him unable to run due to soreness in his right heel.

That left the Warriors with the league-mandated minimum roster requirement against a Dallas team without only one player, Seth Curry, who was sidelined by illness.

With Luka Doncic leading the way, the rout was on very early. The Warriors trailed 20-7 less than four minutes after tipoff, 35-11 after nine minutes and they never made a serious run. They were outrebounded 50-33 and outshot 57.3 percent to 38.9 percent.

There will be nights, perhaps many this season, when the Warriors simply won’t have the manpower to measure up. This was such a night. A legitimate throwaway game.

Bowman brought the fight

The closest thing to a bright spot was the play of three rookies, particularly point guard Ky Bowman.

The 6-foot-1, two-way signee pressed into the starting lineup when Green was ruled out. The undrafted rookie from Boston College played 32 minutes and was a pest on defense and also the team’s most efficient scorer, delivering 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Even more impressive, Bowman did not commit a turnover.

Eric Paschall finished with team-highs points (22) and rebounds (seven), and Jordan Poole finished with 11 points and seven assists.

Bowman, however, stood out for his nonstop energy and a level of reliability that is encouraging for a rookie.

[RELATED: Draymond scoffs at Paschall's 'too old' NBA draft narrative]

Vets rise, vets fall

Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III were coming off impressive games, combining for 49 points on 17-of-29 shooting from the field, including 5-of-11 from deep, in the win over the Grizzlies.

They didn’t come close to that level of production or efficiency in Dallas.

Burks started at shooting guard and totaled 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-4 from beyond the arc, while playing 27 minutes.

Robinson started at small forward and produced five points on 2-of-7 shooting, including 1-of-3 from deep over 26 minutes.

With Green out, the Warriors needed Burks and Robinson to play hard and smart and effectively to keep the youngsters on the right path and have a chance to stay in the game. Neither did.