Warriors

Warriors' Bob Fitzgerald says Steph Curry doesn't get star treatment

Warriors

When Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald joined this week's episode of the "Runnin' Plays" podcast, Kerith Burke asked him the question that has troubled Warriors fans for years.

"Do you feel like Steph Curry gets enough calls?"

Fitzgerald made it very clear where he stood on the matter.

"If Steph Curry got James Harden's whistles, Steph would shoot 15 free throws a night," he said.

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Curry averages 4.0 free-throw attempts per game in his career, and he has only ever averaged as much as 5.9 attempts a night in a single season (2017-18).

Harden, on the other hand, has averaged at least 10 free throws per game in each of the last six seasons. He's averaging a career-high 11.6 attempts this season.

"They are not playing basketball anymore, they are playing the free-throw game," Fitzgerald said of Harden and other players he believes are gaming the system. "That's not great to watch and that's not really great basketball."

Of course, there are plenty of other explanations for why Harden receives more foul calls than Curry. The ball's in Harden's hands much more often, and he has a much higher usage rate (35 percent) than Curry (30.6 percent) since the Warriors hired Steve Kerr.

"I think where Steph is mis-officiated is off the ball," Fitzgerald explained. "Guys grab, clutch, bounce and hit him all the time off the ball because that's really the only way you can guard him. The other thing too is that the officials focus primarily on the ball, so they're not watching off the ball as much as you can get away with a lot more.

 

"This freedom of movement thing ... Steph and Klay (Thompson) try to move freely a lot and are prohibited from doing that, and that's really the game plan to slow down the Warriors."

[RELATED: Warriors announcer Fitzgerald honored to call playoff games]

Fitzgerald has been the Warriors' TV voice for nearly a quarter of a century, including all of Curry's professional career. He doesn't think Curry receives the same treatment as some of his superstar peers, and Fitzgerald takes that personally.

"When I see Steph, who I would consider a friend and someone I care about, kind of getting manhandled a lot, that bothers me," Fitzgerald said. "So do I get frustrated with that once in a while? Yes, I do."