Warriors guard Stephen Curry told Dime Magazine he wants and expects to take on a more significant role on defense under new coach Steve Kerr.
Former assistant coach Brian Scalabrine said last week Curry wanted to guard top point guards last season and that it was head coach Mark Jackson that made the call to take the “easy way out.”
“One of the things, he [Jackson] made the decision some games to put Klay [Thompson] on the main ball-handler because Klay is a great defender, obviously,” Curry confirmed to Dime. “He’s long and athletic and can hound quicker guys. I definitely want that challenge and I expect that challenge coming into next season.
“But I go into every game expecting — there’s not a game where I don’t guard the opponent’s point guard or whoever their best guard is at some point during games, you always — you can’t take breaks is all, you know. I might not have that, last year I didn’t have that responsibility to start most games, but you have it at some point.”
Curry could get that opportunity. His defense is something he’s worked on and has been praised by one of Kerr’s assistants, Ron Adams. In June, Warriors executive board member Jerry West told CSN Bay Area of Thompson, who has been asked to defend point guards, “I think he would be so much better if he could just cover two guards all the time defensively.”
“Steph wanted to guard Chris Paul,” Scalabrine said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “He wanted to guard Tony Parker. I can guarantee you. Everyone that knows Steph Curry knows that he’s like an elite competitor.
“But as a staff, Coach Jackson made that decision in saying, ‘Hey, I’m not going to challenge this guy. I’m not going to push this guy to be better on both ends of the floor. I want to save him for the offensive end.’ Look, I think Steph Curry if he was challenged day in and day out to defend, if you want to win a championship, you have to be able to defend your position.”