Kurt Helin

Stephen Curry on Finals: “I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares?”

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It was obvious at points in the playoffs that Stephen Curry was not 100 percent healthy. He slipped on a wet spot on the floor in Houston, sprained his right knee, missed some time, and was not quite right the rest of the way. He still had monster games and stretches of elite play (that’s how recovery from injury goes, it’s not linear), but wasn’t doing the little things quite as well.

Of course, Curry and the Warriors largely denied it until after the playoffs ended.

Curry, during his tour of China, finally admitted he was not right in an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell, but added it didn’t matter.

“I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares? I was playing. I was out there trying to help my team win and that’s all that really matters. I’ve taken advantage of the summer to get right and I still have a little bit of work to go.”

Curry’s health wasn’t  the reason the Warriors dropped a 3-1 series lead. It was Draymond Green not being able to keep his hands to himself, it was LeBron James finding another gear, it was Andrew Bogut getting injured, it was Kyrie Irving not shying away from the big moments. We tend to like simple answers when reality is a stew of a lot of different flavors coming together — there is no one answer.

Those final three games then the Warriors adding Kevin Durant this summer flipped the national narrative for a lot of people: LeBron was the hero bringing a title to his hometown, the Warriors are the superteam villains.

“I kind of laugh at that,” Curry said. “Obviously how the Finals ended [and] what happened, that’s sports. That’s what you love about it. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Obviously it stinks to not win, but playing for a championship for two years in a row has been an amazing, amazing journey and I don’t think it’s over.

“All that narrative around our team, how people view us, doesn’t really matter to us. We are who we are and we’re championship contenders going forward.”

More than contenders, the Warriors are the team to beat heading into next season. If you had to bet the Finals would be won by the Warriors or the field, which would you take? I think it’s 50/50.

Curry said he is not worried about that pressure on his team, but we’ll see how they handle it when there are early stumbles and some corners of the Warriors fan base freak out. That’s when the first test comes.

 

Photo bombs, airballed free throws — watch the best bloopers of last NBA season

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We could all use a laugh.

Have one at the expense of some of your favorite NBA players. There is bad dancing, air-balled free throws, missed dunks, more bad dancing, plenty of photo/interview bombing and more. Consider this something to watch during halftime of the first college football game you’ve watched this season.

Report: Rockets, Spurs, Lakers, Pacers interested in Carl Landry

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Carl Landry has value as an NBA player. He’s a professional veteran who has a solid midrange game that makes him a good pick-and-pop big.

It’s just he didn’t have a place in the crowded, young front court of the Philadelphia 76ers, so they waived him and ate his $6.5 million salary. However, it was expected another team would pick him up for the league minimum. But who? Minnesota-based Darren Wolfson has heard some names.

Landry is getting paid by the Sixers regardless, so he can play where he wants. Don’t be shocked if the veteran goes to San Antonio he and David Lee would back up LaMarcus Aldridge at the four. There he can chase a ring. He could step into a David West role in Indiana, or help a new front court rotation in Houston. There will be other teams interested as well.

For one year at the minimum, this would be a solid pickup for just about any team.

Stephen Curry drawing huge crowds in China, pimps Under Armour shoes

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It’s a traditional summer part of the job for the NBA’s biggest stars — LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, etc. — a tour of China to promote the game and help sell shoes in the world’s biggest market.

Now Stephen Curry is there with Under Armour, the sportswear company gaining some ground (limited, but some) in the basketball shoe market on the back of their bright star. The Finals loss did not diminish his luster.

Darren Rovell of ESPN followed Curry on part of the tour and filed a report:

Curry leaves hotel in Guangzhou. Fans cheer “CURRY! CURRY! CURRY!” and compete for his autograph as he walks to the car that will take him to a basketball clinic. Curry feels the crush as he enters his car and security pushes fans back.

Of course, there are pictures.

Passion. Drive. Hard work. #SC30AsiaTour

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Learning how to make some Dim Sum and Spring Rolls in Guangzhou, China 🍽

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Dwyane Wade said his purpose in Chicago is “bigger than basketball”

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Dwyane Wade has come home to Chicago in part because Bulls’ management was embarrassed not making the playoffs and they are counting on the three-time NBA champ, the 12-time All-Star, to turn things around.

Wade wants to do much more than that.

He is coming home to a city torn apart by violence — one where his cousin, Nykea Aldridge, was shot pushing her stroller down the street — and he wants to take steps to end the cycle of violence, he told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”

“My purpose for being back in the city is bigger than basketball. Basketball is a big part of it, of course; it’s what I do for a living,” said Wade, who signed last month with the Bulls. “But I think my purpose at the end of the day hopefully is to come to Chicago and be a part, be a voice that can help bring people together…

“Now I’m back in the city of Chicago — I’m back for a reason,” Wade said. “I played 13 years in Miami. Now I’m back in the city, let me see what I can do as one person to help lend my voice and help shed light on the tragedy that’s going on and find a solution to start the process of making change.”

Wade talked about the role of police and legislatures in making that change a reality.

“They are fighting a war,” Wade said of Chicago police. “And they can do a lot better, but they can get more help, as well, to do better. There’s other cities that have way tougher gun laws. We have weak gun laws.”

The Chicago PD released a statement in response to Wade’s interviewing saying they are fighting a war on crime but that they do need help in that battle.

It’s going to take a lot more than Wade to change the cycle of violence in Chicago, but that change will need leaders to help push it along.

If Wade can be one of those leaders it will be an accomplishment bigger and more important than anything he has done on the court.