Stephen Curry on Warriors not trading Klay Thompson for Kevin Love: ‘I think they made the right choice’

Warriors guard Stephen Curry believes that the team’s front office officials were right not to trade Klay Thompson to Minnesota for Kevin Love, who is reportedly being dealt to Cleveland instead.

“Obviously Kevin Love’s a great player and they were making the decision whether that would make us a better team to let him go, bring Kevin on, and I think they made the right choice that me and him in the backcourt and core that we have, we’ve got a legit shot at winning the championship next year, and I’m ready to take that on,” Curry told WFAN on Tuesday. “I think all those rumors are gone now, and we’ll get back to business.”

Curry told The Dan Patrick Show he was asked his opinion by the Warriors’ management. Asked if he would have done the trade, he said, “I don’t think you can give up Klay to make that happen.”

Curry also discussed other topics in the wide-ranging interview on WFAN with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.

On struggling with the aftermath of the Paul George injury: “I actually thought for a couple days afterwards why we’re playing USA Basketball and the risk you take. When you come down to it, it’s a great opportunity to represent your country. Any time you play basketball, you’re at risk of getting hurt, and it’s an opportunity for us to get better, play against the best in the world, and I want to take advantage of the opportunity while I have it.”

On stanchions: “I’ve actually done so much more research on that part of the game afterwards. I had no idea what the restrictions were.”

On former coach Mark Jackson preaching on the street: “That’s Coach for you. He’s passionate…The way he talks in the locker room, there’s a lot of overlap between messages he’ll preach on a Sunday and how he’ll transfer that to a basketball message, so that’s not a surprise to us.”

On when he knew he reached 50 points in a 54-point performance in 2013 against the Knicks: “Actually my teammate, Harrison Barnes. I guess when a pitcher’s throwing a no-hitter, you don’t talk to him or whatever. They leave him alone in the dugout. Harrison didn’t know that rule, so he came up during a timeout and told me, ‘Hey, go for 60.’ I was like, ‘Wait, what do you mean?’  He’s like, ‘You’ve got 52 right now.’” I was like, ‘Oh, oh alright, let’s do it.’”


Report: Warriors to play at Clippers on Christmas night

The Warriors and rival Los Angeles Clippers will play at Staples Center on Christmas night, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday in advance of the NBA officially releasing the schedule.

The Clippers eliminated the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs last season in a seven-game series.

The two teams faced off last Christmas with a game at Oracle Arena the Warriors won 105-103 that saw the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Warriors’ Draymond Green get ejected.

The Warriors will also play in the Clippers’ preseason opener at Staples Center on Oct. 7, the Clippers announced.


Brian Scalabrine: Mark Jackson’s staff didn’t prepare Warriors to be championship-caliber, push Stephen Curry on defense

Former Warriors coaches Mark Jackson and Brian Scalabrine agree that philosophical differences led to the assistant’s unceremonious reassignment during the regular season.

Scalabrine outlined some of those differences in an interview on The Doug Gottlieb Show on Thursday in his third radio interview in as many days that touched on his stint with the Warriors.

“We had a very difference of opinion as far as what it takes to push and win a championship,” said Scalabrine, who as a player won an NBA title with Boston. “I don’t think championships are given out. I think championships are earned, and I just felt like along the way we thought…something was going to happen. Like it’s OK to be average. It’s OK to be .500. It’s OK to be an eighth seed, ninth seed, or move our way up to a sixth seed. I mean, that’s just not the right mentality if you’re trying to win with a team with a lot of young players.

“Generally, as a staff we really didn’t prepare our team to be championship-caliber nor did we prepare our team to eventually be championship-caliber.

“I respected him as a head coach going into that, but after a while, it was just like us not doing what I would feel like our job is. It was just kind of frustrating.”

Scalabrine offered examples of how he disagreed with Jackson on how to challenge players “to be great,” including All-Star guard Stephen Curry, who Scalabrine said wasn’t given the opportunity at times to do more on defense to the player’s detriment because of Jackson.

“Taking the easy way out, right?” Scalabrine said. “Like putting (Curry) on not the best player, and that wasn’t his decision. That’s not Steph Curry’s responsibility. Steph wanted to guard Chris Paul. 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.”

Scalabrine said Jackson’s way with Curry, who remains a strong supporter of the former head coach, was different from what he saw with his former coach in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau, challenging a star guard in teammate Derrick Rose on defense.

“I think that with the right scheme and having the right coach and putting him in the right position, Steph Curry is going to be a point guard that wins an NBA championship,” Scalabrine said. “He has that kind of ability, and it’s not just on one the side of the floor.”

On offense, Scalabrine said Golden State could have been “better organized” and was ultimately “an average offensive team with all that talent.”

“Harrison Barnes should have been like an elite player in the NBA, taking the next step after his rookie year,” Scalabrine said. “It’s just like unfortunate that he didn’t get a chance to do it.”

Scalabrine also said that even though he felt Klay Thompson was an elite player, he would have traded the guard in a deal for Minnesota forward Kevin Love, who is reportedly heading to Cleveland instead.

“My only knock on Kevin Love is I just think he’s never played with a great shot-blocking center, and Andrew Bogut is a great shot-blocking center,” Scalabrine said. “I’m not saying I’m right. Everyone has their own opinion. I personally would have made the move and then tried to convince a Mike Miller or a Ray Allen or some kind of shooting guard, try to trade for Kyle Korver, try to replace that shooting from Klay Thompson.

“Put Kevin Love with a shot-blocking center, a lot of his defensive errors are just based on size and athletic ability. Personally, I would have done it because I think Kevin Love really is a game-changer when he has a guy like Steph Curry with him or a guy that can create shots for him.”


Warriors’ Stephen Curry admits ‘doubts’ about taking on USA Basketball injury risk, but stays committed

Warriors guard Stephen Curry remains committed to USA Basketball after watching Indiana’s Paul George suffer a gruesome compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in an intrasquad game.

Curry, who is one of 15 finalists to make the USA’s FIBA World Cup team, did tell The Doug Gottlieb Show on Wednesday that watching George get injured live in Las Vegas brought up “bad memories” of his own history with his surgically-repaired ankle.

“I had some doubts when I left Vegas as to the risk that you take when you play USA Basketball, but at the end of the day, we made a commitment to play, and any time we play basketball, that’s a risk we take,” Curry said.

“We’re committed. For now we’re going go out there and win the gold for Paul and do our thing over in Spain, but I haven’t really thought about two years from now because I guess everybody has to make a decision based on where they are when that time comes.”

Curry, who along with the Warriors guard Klay Thompson are vying to make Team USA, was speaking the day before Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant announced he withdrew from the team, citing a lack of energy and a need to take time away mentally and physically.

The Warriors have already seen guard Nemanja Nedovic suffer a foot injury during preparation for the World Cup with the Serbian national team that could require surgery.

Warriors players Andre Iguodala (knee tenditinis), Ognjen Kuzmic (stress reaction in leg), David Lee (surgery in pelvic area) did not take part in national team training this summer due to pre-existing injuries while Andrew Bogut withdrew from consideration following an injury-riddled season.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday that George’s injury was “awful” and recalled how during his own career suffered a major knee injury while playing for Team USA in 1986. The tearing the ACL and MCL of Kerr’s right knee, which forced him to redshirt his senior season at Arizona, took place in Spain at the tournament now known as the World Cup.

Twenty-eight years later, Curry is expected to play at the World Cup in Spain. He said he had not been told he was a lock to make the team, but clearly that is the expectation as he added members of his family are scheduled to travel overseas to watch him play.

“I can honestly say I haven’t thought about future years,” Curry said of playing for USA Basketball. “I only think about the here and now, and immediately when I saw PG go down, I did have bad memories of my injuries and surgeries and all that.

“Whenever you see that, your whole injury history comes up.”


Warriors’ Nemanja Nedovic foot injury diagnosis not ‘definitive’ after MRI exam as Steve Kerr stays positive

WALNUT CREEK — Warriors guard Nemanja Nedovic underwent an MRI exam on his right foot that according to the Serbian national team did not result in a diagnosis Thursday, but Steve Kerr appeared optimistic despite saying surgery is being discussed.

“Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be a long-term recovery,” the Warriors coach said.

“I think there’s a chance he could be ready for camp. If not, then short thereafter.”

Nedovic suffered the injury on Sunday while playing for Serbia in an exhibition game in Italy in preparation for the FIBA World Cup.

Serbian national team doctor Dragan Radovanovic said in a statement that because the MRI exam conducted in Belgrade was not definitive, Nedovic would undergo more exams in the coming days.

Nedovic told NBASerbia.com he had no pain in the foot despite tweeting out a photo of himself wearing a cast for his leg.


Steve Kerr: Aaron Craft ‘embodies what Warriors want to be,’ could make team or go to Santa Cruz

WALNUT CREEK – Warriors coach Steve Kerr offered high praise for undrafted point guard Aaron Craft, who agreed to a partially-guaranteed contract and accepted an invitation to training camp just as he always has.

“We love Aaron’s competitiveness and his defense and his energy and his intelligence,” Kerr said Thursday. “He sort of embodies what we want to be and what we’re becoming as a franchise.

“Whether he’s good enough or not, we’ll see, but we like the idea of bringing him to camp and possibly sending him to Santa Cruz to work on his game. But he impressed us in summer league, and he earned a spot in camp for sure.”

Kerr has long admired the 6-foot-2 Craft, who was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as its national defensive player of the year this past season.

In January while Kerr was a TNT broadcaster, he tweeted of the Ohio State star, “What position does Aaron Craft play, you ask? ‘Winner.’” Last month while playing for the Warriors’ Summer League team, Kerr said, “People have their opinions of him in terms of he doesn’t shoot it well enough, he doesn’t do this…He competes, and he wins.”

Craft, 23, told the Columbus Dispatch he wanted to be one of the first players on the squad to begin working out before training camp starts.

“They gave us some money to come to training camp, and then it varies depending on what happens after that,” Craft told the paper. “It feels good to have a little something solid to go on after what this summer has been.

“I think coach Kerr appreciated the competitiveness and the basketball IQ I showed in the week we were there. I think we’re very similar players. There were a few times we were calling out the same plays; our minds were working the same. I think that definitely helped.”


Warriors’ Steve Kerr doesn’t expect major roster move after Kevin Love reportedly to go to Cleveland

WALNUT CREEK – Asked about his reaction to Minnesota reportedly reaching an agreement in principle to trade forward Kevin Love to Cleveland, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he didn’t have one.

“It doesn’t include our team, so when other teams make moves, that’s really their business,” Kerr said Thursday.

The trade for Love involves Cleveland sending No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, forward Anthony Bennett and a 2015 protected first-round draft pick, according to Yahoo Sports. Any deal involving Wiggins would not become official until Aug. 23, one month after the former Kansas star signed his rookie contract.

It’s possible the Warriors could get back into the Love sweepstakes by sweetening a trade proposal, but Kerr seemed confident that there would not be major changes to the existing roster.

“All indications are that this is the group we’re going forward with, but you never say never,” Kerr said. “You never know what’s going to happen, and ultimately that’s not my job. I’m coaching the team that’s here, but there’s no question that we feel very confident and comfortable with the group that we have. The team’s been on the rise the past couple of years, and I believe in continuity and players growing together, and that’s what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Klay Thompson, a subject of trade talks involving Love, was among the Warriors players that recently dined with Kerr and general manager Bob Myers in Las Vegas while training with USA Basketball, according to Kerr, who declined to comment on their discussions.

Thompson was named by Kerr as having an “automatic” starting spot along with Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and David Lee when a boy at the Warriors Basketball Camp at Tice Valley Community Gym asked the coach about the lineup this season.

“Andre (Iguodala) started last year, which he probably will, but there’s a lot of options that we have because we’ve got really good players in Harrison (Barnes) and Draymond (Green),” Kerr said, adding that likely he would use the same lineup as last season. “But most of it usually comes down to how the combination fits…how do the pieces of the puzzle fit. We’ll determine that in training camp who plays best together, who’s going to start, who’s going to come off the bench.”