Kent Bazemore probably could have received more money to play elsewhere this season. But who wouldn’t want to lace ‘em up with arguably the greatest shooter in basketball history?
The Warriors lost on Saturday night to the Dallas Mavericks but the game will be remembered for Steph Curry’s 57-point performance that included 11 3-pointers. After the game, Bazemore simply was in awe when discussing Curry’s current level of play.
“Best player in basketball right now,” Bazemore said. “It’s unreal.”
As NBC Sports Bay Area’s Drew Shiller pointed out, Bazemore re-joined the Warriors this year on a league-minimum salary for an eight-year veteran. He’s making $2.3 million this season after raking in $9.9 million from the Portland Trail Blazers last season and peaking with his $18.1 million salary from the Atlanta Hawks in 2018-19.
Bazemore put together his best game of the season Saturday against the Mavericks as well, scoring a season-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 23 minutes. But he still sounded like a fan when talking about the latest outburst from Curry, who is averaging 29.4 points per game this year to rank third in the NBA.
“Brad Wanamaker and I were cracking up on the bench and just how -- first of all -- how fortunate we are to see that,” Bazemore said. “Two, just how it’s so effortless.”
When Bazemore was last with the Warriors in 2012-13, Curry was just a 24-year-old beginning to unlock his immense potential. Now the 31-year-old wing gets to play alongside an MVP-caliber Curry who still appears to be in his prime.
“I work out with him before the game so I see him out there fooling around,” Bazemore said. “But when you’re in the heat of it, the guy’s got no conscience. He can pull from 40 feet. It’s amazing. You gotta be there.”