1

Warriors’ Stephen Curry encouraged to ‘relax’ at Blues City Cafe after playoff losses to Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Stephen Curry after back-to-back playoff losses and disappointing performances dined at a Beale Street institution after the Warriors’ loss in Game 3 to the Grizzlies.

Curry is 4 for 21 from 3-point range since being named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player last week and was encouraged to go to Blues City Cafe after the 99-89 loss so he could “relax.”

“Come meet us here, and just relax,” Green said Sunday. “Everybody’s up in flames. Everybody wants to panic. Just come, sit, have dinner and relax. And it was good. We had a good time.”

Curry appeared in selfies taken from inside the restaurant, and Green said people outside were taking pictures through the windows.

Green said he had texted Curry and learned that he was doing nothing but sitting in his hotel room.

“Steph usually stays in the room, but me and (David Lee) were over there, and Festus (Ezeli) was over there getting some food,” Green said. “I just told him, ‘Yo, just come over here and relax, sit back, eat, talk, just kick back.’ It was cool.”

1

Warriors’ Marreese Speights could miss rest of Grizzlies series due to calf strain

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Warriors’ Marreese Speights will miss Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Memphis and could miss the rest of the series due to a right calf strain.

An MRI exam revealed that the strain was moderate, but he isn’t scheduled to be reevaluated until one week has passed, according to the Warriors.

Speights, a reserve forward, suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 99-89 loss in Game 3.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday that forward David Lee would “probably” play more after he did not appear in Game 3. He averaged 4.5 minutes in the first two games of the series.

1

Steve Kerr once was asked by rookie teammate Zach Randolph: ‘How much time do we get off for Christmas?’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Warriors coach Steve Kerr recalled sitting on the plane with one-time Portland teammate Zach Randolph when the rookie had a question.

“How much time do we get off for Christmas?” Kerr said the Grizzlies forward once asked. “He didn’t know. He was just the sweetest, nicest kid.  He had no clue. He was so talented, and he was a joy to play with as you see now.

“What makes me really happy is just to see what he’s done in his career and the maturity. The fact that he’s gone from this kid who knew nothing about the league to being a leader not only on his team, but somebody who’s really important in the community here in Memphis, he’s really matured and grown into really a good man and a hell of a player.”

Kerr in 2012 used the Christmas anecdote while writing in Grantland to make the case for the NBA raising its age limit to 20. Randolph was 20 in his rookie season, and Kerr wrote that he was “visibly shocked and saddened” after learning the schedule didn’t include a break to go home for Christmas.

“He was literally a baby,” Kerr said Saturday. “He was just a kid. He had no idea what the NBA was about.

“Zach’s questions were fantastic.”

His career was marred by run-ins with the law, but Randolph emerged in Memphis as one of the Grizzlies’ top players as a rugged, versatile presence. He fondly recalled how Kerr, then playing in his 14th NBA season, tried to help the maturity process.

“I used to sit next to Steve on the plane and ask him all kind of questions about him and (Michael) Jordan,” Randolph said.

“Steve was always great, a great person, man. He was just a great leader and mentor type of guy even when I was a rookie…I was amazed, you know? Steve Kerr, Scottie Pippen, like I’m on a team with these guys?”

54

Grizzlies’ Courtney Lee on if it will be louder in Memphis: ‘By far – without the volume pumped in the audience’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis guard Courtney Lee said Friday the Grizzlies have the rowdiest fans in the NBA and “get rowdy naturally.”

Asked if it will be louder at FedExForum for the upcoming Western Conference semifinals games against the Warriors than it was at Oracle Arena, Lee told Fox 13 Memphis: “Oh, by far, by far, by far — without the volume pumped in the audience. I think it’s going to be pretty loud.”

Asked if he was saying there was fake noise at Oracle, Lee smiled.

“I’m not saying it,” Lee said. “I’m just saying that we don’t use that. What was that other team? Oklahoma City got caught for doing that? You know what I mean? I’m just saying we don’t do that. Our fans is just there supporting with the towels, and they’re screaming, and it’s naturally loud there.

It was Lee who after a Game 2 win wrote of the Grizzlies’ home court advantage in comparison to Oracle.

“They said no arena gets louder, I said then they haven’t been to the GRINDHOUSE!!!!!!” Lee posted on Instagram.

In the Warriors’ previous series, New Orleans coach Monty Williams raised eyebrows when he  said of Oracle, “I’m not so sure that the decibel level is legal there, and I’m serious. They’ve done studies on that. Being on the competition committee, there’s got to be something to that because it does get a little out of hand.”

Williams later said the comment was tongue-in-cheek and clarified that wasn’t speaking about artificial noise.

“No, I don’t know anything about that,” Williams said. “It’s all crowd noise. They’ve got 20,000 people here, so I’m sure everything they generate here is authentic.”

3

Ex-Warriors coach Mark Jackson: ‘There will never be no issues’ with Stephen Curry

Asked if he had the opportunity to explain to Stephen Curry his pick of James Harden as the MVP, former Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Thursday he wasn’t going there.

“What I will say is there are people that will attempt to create nonsense and create friction,” Jackson told the Dan LeBatard Show. “From my end, that’ll never take place. I’m forever grateful for how he conducted himself as a player of mine. I’m forever grateful for who he is as an individual and the accomplishments that he’s had. And there will never be no issues between him and I as far as I’m concerned. I wish him nothing but the very best, and I’m going to love him.”

Curry was named the MVP earlier this week after Jackson, an ESPN broadcaster without a vote, told the Dan Patrick Show last month that his vote would probably go to Houston’s James Harden. Curry, who had supported Jackson leading up to his firing after last season had said his former coach’s pick was “very surprising.”

“The easy route to go was to say Steph,” Jackson said. “That’s easy. I’m not saying he wasn’t worthy. I’m not even saying he didn’t deserve it. I just had to make a pick. So at the end of the day, I love him. I’m happy for him. I’m proud of him. Tremendous speech. Tremendous accomplishment. I wish him nothing but the very best, and we move on. But as an announcer, I’ve never taken the easy way out. I never try to take shortcuts. I’m going to do my job to the best of my ability. And that’s not saying James Harden didn’t deserve it. If anybody thinks I’m shading or hating or all of that, I picked the guy that wound up No. 2 as far as the voting was concerned.

Jackson’s name did not come up in Curry’s speech Monday after he beat out Harden for the award in a landslide.

“I love Steph Curry, and I’m excited and proud of the fact that he was MVP of the league in 2014-15,” Jackson said. “He deserved it when you think about the body of work. And obviously I got a job to do, and my job is to be honest and to analyze the game.

“My feelings have not changed towards (Curry), and I think he’s a great, great individual. And I’m extremely proud of him. And I still love him.”

Jackson noted that when he says that Rick Pitino is the greatest coach that he played for, broadcast partner Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t get upset.

Van Gundy, told 95.7 The Game on Tuesday that he didn’t read anything into Jackson picking Harden.

“People are going to try to nitpick,” Van Gundy said. “They’ve done it with Mark when he said he thought he would vote for Harden. Like that was some referendum on their relationship (between Curry and Jackson).

“Listen, I’ve seen them interact in the back just last Sunday (when Jackson was at Oracle Arena for Game 1 of the Memphis series). And I can see that not only is there true respect between each other, but there is like an appreciation for what each other did for each other’s career.”