Golden State’s players thought they had something special — a real locker room chemistry, a team that won 51 games, a team that is both entertaining and on the rise.
Then days into the offseason coach Mark Jackson was let go over the objection of players. Not long after rumors started to come up about the Warriors wanting to get into the Kevin Love trade conversation, and would they give up Klay Thompson to get him?
Through all of it Warriors players have been silent. There were no welcoming tweets for Steve Kerr, something done out of respect for Jackson.
But in accepting the NBA’s 2013-14 Kia Community Assist Season long Award Stephen Curry was in front of the microphones and spoke to CSNBayArea.com’s Monte Poole about this offseason. He clearly misses Jackson.
“He was a sign of stability for me,” Curry said Thursday. “I had three coaches in three years and (Jackson) embodies what I know as good around here with the Warriors, winning and that kind of feel. It was a lot different in my first two years. I love Coach (Keith) Smart and Coach (Don) Nelson, but he embodied winning. And it’s tough to see that end….
“The feeling was how quick things happened after the season was kind of a shock,” he said. “It took some time to respond and react. Obviously, they made a semi-quick hire. As the summer goes on and we remove ourselves from last year and look forward to next year, we’ll be fine.
“It’s just tough. There’s no sugarcoating it. It was a weird, expedited situation that we didn’t see coming. Guys are human and have got to adjust to it and (need) some time to respond. That’s kind of what happened. I think we’ll be fine once we have a clear picture of what’s going on next year.”
Curry also wants Klay Thompson to remain as his backcourt running mate.
“I definitely want him to continue be my backcourt mate and keep pushing,” Curry said, “keep growing together and not to waste the nickname.”
“I love playing with him,” Curry said. “He makes me better. I try to make him better. How much better he’s gotten since Day 1 is kind of scary. He’s such a great two-way player. He hasn’t come anywhere close to hitting the ceiling.”
I understand Curry saying that, but if they need to move Thompson (with David Lee and maybe other small pieces) to get Kevin Love, you pull that trigger. I love Thompson’s game, but Love’s skill set is far more unique and would help Curry win faster. Not that this trade is likely.
As always in professional sports, if the Warriors are winning things will work themselves out, both with Kerr and whatever roster changes may come to Golden State. To paraphrase Daryl Morey, chemistry is a three game winning streak.
But if the Warriors struggle with all the adjustments next year, things are going to get interesting. And everyone is going to be pointing the finger at ownership, not the players.