LeBron James used to go out of his way to watch Stephen Curry play. And like he does now, Curry put on a show.
“I just kind of read upon his story from Day 1 how under-recruited he was,” James told reporters.
“I just thought he was special. I thought he was a special kid. I’m very good at noticing talent, and I thought he was special then. And obviously, he is now still.”
One time, James was playing at Charlotte made his way over to Davidson. Another time, he made the drive over to Detroit for an NCAA tournament game. Both times, he was caught on camera being blown away.
Here’s video from his trips to get his fix of Curry.
OAKLAND – With a drink in his right hand and an NBA Finals cap on his head, Warriors owner Joe Lacob stood in the locker room and recalled the past. Of course, not all of it was pretty.
“No one can understand except for my fiancée all the things we went through the early years,” Lacob said Thursday after the Warriors beat the Rockets to win the Western Conference championship. “There was a lockout, if you remember. A sexual harassment thing to remember. We had to change over the roster. We had to wait to see if we would get the seventh pick.
“We had to change a lot of the employees in this organization.”
After all that, the Warriors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. Lacob through the years has said he would deliver a championship. The Warriors are now four wins away from achieving just that.
“I know there were a lot of promises early on, a little bravado,” Lacob said. “A lot of that was just goal-setting there for an organization to turn it around.
“Everyone has a goal, and that goal is not finished. We haven’t achieved it yet.”
One employee who was fired was Mark Jackson, who had taken the Warriors to their two previous playoff appearances. He was in the building as an ESPN broadcaster. Steve Kerr was the rookie coach who took the reins and won 67 games in the regular season.
“He’s been fantastic all year long,” Lacob said. “I mean, it doesn’t get any better. He’s done everything. He’s succeeded. He’ll probably never as much credit as he deserves because it’s really hard to do what he did coming in with all the expectations to go from good to great.
“Everything that Steve first said in the interviews, he did.”
OAKLAND – Klay Thompson developed concussion-like symptoms after the Warriors won the Western Conference championship on Wednesday.
Thompson left the game in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 104-90 win after being kneed in the head by the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza and received stitches for an ear laceration, according to coach Steve Kerr. The team later announced he had been put through a concussion evaluation during the game and began not to feel well after the game.
Thompson was kneed with 9:31 left after Ariza left his feet only to catch the side of the head on the way down to the ground.
“He is a good shooter, so you don’t want to give him any open 3-pointers,” Ariza said. “I was just trying to run and contest it. He happened to be leaning forward, and my knee hit him in the face.”
The Warriors will have seven days off before Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena on June 4.
HOUSTON — Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals after the NBA announced Tuesday it would not reclassify his foul of the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut to a flagrant foul 2.
“Howard was trying to extricate himself from Bogut and recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement. “The contact was unnecessary but was not deemed excessive by the officials working the game with the aid of the replay center. And we don’t see a reason to modify that call.”
Howard was assessed a flagrant foul 1 after his left arm struck Bogut in the head in Game 4 on Monday. Upgrading the foul upon a league review could have led to a fine and/or suspension.
Asked if he wanted Howard suspended, Warriors coach Steve Kerr laughed and said, “I’m not answering that.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale indicated that he felt Bogut fouled Howard first, and that didn’t get called.
“Bogut grabbed him, and as always, the second foul gets called,” McHale said.
“He swiped his arm back because he felt Bogut grabbed him…The one thing we learn is we should be the first to grab.”
HOUSTON – To James Harden, Ron Adams is more than merely a Warriors assistant coach trying to figure out a way on defense to stop the Rockets star.
“That’s one of my closest friends,” Harden said of Adams on Saturday. “He was one of my mentors when I got in the league. Just to compete against him, I know he has something up his sleeve over there as far as trying to defend me.”
Adams, 67, served as an assistant for Oklahoma City when he saw the Thunder rookie Harden as a future standout. These days, Harden has had scoring performances of 28 and 38 points in Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Warriors.
“It’s a little bit irritating to me,” Adams said. “That’s how I think. I don’t want anyone scoring on us.
“I like James a lot up until that clock starts ticking and the game starts.”
After the previous game at the Toyota Center in January when the Warriors held Harden to 12 points on 4-for-15 shooting, he walked side by side with Adams while chatting on their way out of the arena. The two also spent time catching when the two teams met for a preseason game in Hidalgo, Texas.
Adams said he would like to think that his knowledge of Harden’s game would be a big factor in containing it.
“Defensively, he’s one of the best that we have in this league,” said Harden, who learned more man-to-man defense from Adams after playing zone for Arizona State.
“He’s a really smart guy over there.”
Recalled Adams: “James was a precocious guy, and we connected. I’m a left-hander. He’s a left-hander.”