Warriors

Steve Kerr: For the 2017-18 Warriors, 'the biggest challenge is...'

kerr-steve-nuts-bench-cavs.jpg
AP

Steve Kerr: For the 2017-18 Warriors, 'the biggest challenge is...'

The Warriors won the championship in 2015.

The Warriors lost in the NBA Finals in 2016.

The Warriors won the title in 2017.

The Warriors are the overwhelming favorites to win it again in 2018.

“The biggest challenge is complacency,” Steve Kerr told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. “We’ve been to the Finals three years in a row. And for our core group, I guess that would be four or five guys — Shaun and Andre, Steph, Klay, Draymond -- that’s a long haul and you just cannot lose your edge in this league.

“You know, defensively we’ll be keeping a close eye on our numbers and our intensity and our fundamentals. We’re not going to let them slide. And yet, human nature is to let your guard down a little bit with success.

"So, we have to be aware of that, the coaching staff, and we can’t disregard that ... that’s the balance we’ve got to find."

Golden State posted the second best defensive rating last season (101.1), fourth best in 2015-16 (100.9) and was No. 1 in 2014-15 (98.2).

[REWIND: Steve Kerr: 'Greedy' Warriors 'will definitely be better next year']

Nick Young, Omri Casspi and rookie Jordan Bell are the newcomers.

Ian Clark, James Michael McAdoo and Matt Barnes are gone.

Otherwise, everybody else is back.

It's understandable why people like Jeff Van Gundy believe "this season is over. We're gonna play it out, and the Warriors are gonna win."

But Golden State will have some competition, including from themselves.

"We always talk about our balance between being a little crazy and disciplined. It sounds like an oxymoron, but we need to keep our edge; pace ourselves, too," Kerr explained to The Athletic. "And how do you do that? That’s our job as a staff, to try to navigate that.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Do you remember what happened with about 35 seconds left in OT during Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals?

In case you forgot:

The Warriors led by 11 points and with the shot clock winding down, Steph Curry attempted a driving layup and LeBron James blocked it.

LeBron proceeded to talk some trash to Curry and even used a little forearm to nudge him away when Curry said something in return.

On the most recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Curry shed some light on the exchange.

Simmons: "He blocked you and he talked sh*t to you. I thought you guys were gonna fight."

Curry: "It was never going to spill over to that. But it was an interesting moment ... I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left, I didn't see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.

"And I was like, 'That's what we're really on right now? We're about to win and you're worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?' And then the whole Tristan and Draymond thing happened and I went back up to him and I was like, 'Yo, what's up? Is this really what we're about right now?'

"And he was like, 'I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I'm a mentor' and it's a part of his leadership and that type of deal. And I was like, 'I don't want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership.' (laughter). Come on man, that's messed up."

Simmons: "I want more of it. I don't want you guys to like each other. This is my biggest problem with this decade. I like that I'm not positive you and LeBron like each other (Curry starts laughing). Watching from afar, it doesn't seem like you like each other. I'm sure there's a mutual respect."

Curry: "There's definitely a mutual respect. I would say though when you see guys working out with each other in the summers and you see guys playing pickup and all that -- when you step foot on the court during the season, it's a totally different environment.

"Guys can be buddies and friends and whatnot and have whatever type of relationship they want to have in the summer and off the court, but the rivalry and competition and egos and all that stuff that lives in an NBA game and when you're trying to hold that trophy ... it's really there and it's not going anywhere."

Simmons: "I don't want you guys to get along. I want adverserial relationships."

Curry: "They're there. They're there. I promise you."

Good. That is awesome.

A couple other takeaways from the podcast:

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

flynnjohnnykahndavid.jpg
AP

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

With the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Ricky Rubio.

With the sixth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Jonny Flynn.

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select... Stephen Curry.

And the rest is history.

As you all know, the man in charge of those selections -- David Kahn -- was fired in 2013 and no longer works in the NBA.

"My guy David Kahn. I don't know where he's at right now," Curry said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I don't know if that ever came out -- there's a story. Everybody knows how much I love golf -- play it in my spare time and what not.

"I think the word on the street was that he didn't draft me because in Minnesota it's cold and I wouldn't be able to play as much golf so I would have been miserable."

A shocked Simmons asked Curry: "Is that true?"

"I hope it's true because that's hilarious (laughter)," Curry said. "That's hilarious."

To which Simmons responded: "It was idiotic in the moment. I did a draft diary. I was going nuts. Because if you're gonna take two point guards, how are you not one of the two? And then if you're gonna go all-in on Rubio and you don't even know if he's gonna come over..."

Rubio didn't leave Spain for the NBA until the 2011-12 season, and a hip injury unfortunately ended Flynn's career after just two plus seasons.

There's no way we will ever find out if that golf story is true, but just like Steph... we certainly hope it is.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller