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."  

Raiders' vibe hasn't changed as playoff hunt intensifies amid win streak

Raiders' vibe hasn't changed as playoff hunt intensifies amid win streak

ALAMEDA -- As the 2019 NFL season heads toward the home stretch, the Raiders have gone from punchline to playoff contender thanks to grit, resilience and some Jon Gruden magic.

Most teams that have traversed a similar path as the Raiders might alter their approach with the games meaning exponentially more. The Silver and Black were picked to win somewhere between four and six games to start the season, and that was before Antonio Brown auditioned for "The Jerry Springer Show" with help of a guerilla Instagram campaign to get himself released

Oakland won its season-opener buoyed by an us-against-the-world mentality, but the Raiders dropped their next two, hitting rock bottom in a 34-14 loss to the Vikings in Week 3. Some teams might have fractured and folded, but the Raiders responded to win five of their next seven games to head into Week 12 occupying the No. 6 seed in the AFC and just a half-game back of the Chiefs for the AFC West lead.

The Raiders have surprised a lot of people in jumping into the playoff race, but the feeling around the Silver and Black is status quo.

"We've always been a group that has great energy," quarterback Derek Carr said. "Whether it was OTAs, workouts, meetings, training camp, we've had great energy all the time. The fact that there's still great energy in the locker room, that does not surprise me. When we lost a couple games in a row at the beginning of the season, the same energy was still there. It doesn't surprise me it's the same now. We don't get into wins and losses, we don't get into stats and all those kind of things -- Player of the Week and those things because it really doesn't matter until the end of the season.

"The only thing that matters is that we keep doing our same process and that we love what we are doing and who we are doing it with. If we can maintain that thought, that single mindset, the rest takes care of itself."

That early thumping in Minnesota could have defined the Raiders' season. Instead, they went to work, believing in the people in the locker room and the plan Gruden put in place. They survived their five-game road trip to return home at 3-4. and then protected the Coliseum, winning three in a row to move to 6-4. 

They've been hit hard by injuries and roster turnover. But they didn't get down or take their focus off the task at hand. They put their arms around each other and kept their heads down, focused on a singular goal.

"Absolutely," Carr said when asked if the wins have rewarded the team's faith in what they are trying to do. "Because then you start to see like, yeah what we are doing is right. When we do what our coaches say, when we execute our assignments, when everyone just does their job everyone gets to benefit from it.

"As long as our guys can keep a level head -- which they will, we'll make sure of that with those young guys but as long as we keep a level head, it's nice to see our process be rewarded."

That process has seen Carr put together an efficient season that mirrors his 2016 campaign. The offensive line has kept him upright, rookie running back Josh Jacobs has put together a stellar first season but is hungry for more and the defense, ravaged by injuries across the board, has banded together to help secure big wins with fourth-quarter stops.

[RELATED: How Raiders' Waller alters mindset to beat heavy coverage]

The playoffs are within the Raiders' sights.

Even the AFC West title is a possibility as 2019 draws to a close.

Despite where the Raiders find themselves, Gruden is making sure everyone stays the course.

"We're just grinding," Gruden said. "We're in the midst of a fight. We know what we have to try to do to win another game. We got to play better. Play better in all three phases and keep working our hearts out to improve."

Expectations have been met and passed. Now, the Raiders must stay laser-focused on their process to achieve a goal most beleive impossible during the dog days of summer.

Warriors vs. Utah Jazz watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Utah Jazz watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

With sore backsides and a shrunken roster, the Warriors conclude their four-game road trip Friday night with two particularly difficult challenges.

There is the thin air of Salt Lake City (elevation 4,226 feet), and then there is the smothering defense of the Utah Jazz.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 o’clock, with tipoff from Vivint Smart Home Arena scheduled for 6:10.

The Warriors (3-13) are coming off their worst loss in 426 games under coach Steve Kerr, a 142-94 thrashing in Dallas. They were down to eight players after All-Star forward Draymond Green was a late scratch for that game. Green also will be on the sideline Friday night.

Utah (9-5) is bringing its typically stingy defense, holding opponents to an NBA-low 100.6 points per game. The Jazz is No. 1 in defensive rating (100.2), No. 2 in 3-point percentage defense (31.1 percent) and No. 3 in overall field-goal percentage defense (42.3).

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Glenn Robinson III
F Eric Paschall
C Willie Cauley-Stein
G Alec Burks
G Ky Bowman

Jazz

F Bojan Bogdanovich
F Royce O’Neale
C Rudy Gobert
G Donovan Mitchell
G Mike Conley

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), F Draymond Green (right heel soreness), G Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), G D’Angelo Russell (right thumb sprain), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out. Looney and Smailagic are on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Jazz: F Ed Davis (left fibula fracture) is listed as out.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: The last thing any NBA team wants is to go into one of the high-altitude cities (Denver or Salt Lake City) with an extremely limited bench. That could result in some strange lineup combinations for the Warriors ... Bowman is coming off his strongest game of the season, with 16 points, two assists and zero turnovers in 32 minutes. He could approach 40 minutes in this game. He is up to 20 active NBA days ... Paschall played a season-high 40 minutes at Dallas, where he spent time at both forward spots. That likely will happen again, when the Warriors play Omari Spellman with either Marquese Chriss or Cauley-Stein ... Burks and Robinson played well on Tuesday at Memphis and poorly the next night in Dallas. For the Warriors to have any chance of staying close, they need to bounce back ... Tonight’s available player count: Eight.