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Draymond Green’s childhood stories from his mom show some things haven’t changed with Warriors

Draymond Green’s mother, Mary Babers-Green, traveled from Saginaw, Mich. to attend the Warriors’ home games against Memphis.

“She’s hilarious,” Green said.

Babers-Green was just that while recently telling some childhood stories about her talkative son, some of which appear in this feature story on how he has emerged into a media darling.

Here are some others:

– Green at age 2 was riding a bike without training wheels. “Draymond was one of those little kids that could do anything…He didn’t want help with anything.” One time at age four, Green and his brother rode their bikes to the store. Green got what he wanted, and then hilarity apparently ensued. “You don’t know who I am?” Green asked. “I’m Draymond Green!” As Babers-Green told it to Joe Rexrode in the Lansing State Journal, the storekeeper who stopped him was laughing so hard he let Green keep the chips and juice.

— Green at age four was also good over the phone. One time he called into work for his stepfather and yelled, “Hi, this is Draymond Green, calling in for Raymond Green!”

— Green talked so much that his brother and sister would tie his legs up into a pretzel and also called him a “little snitch.” Babers-Green recalled Green being so young at the time that he couldn’t say it quite right and said his siblings were calling him a “little switch.”

— All that talking from Green apparently made it tough for him to make friends at first. “Draymond had no friends because he ran them all away. No one wanted to play with him,” Babers-Green said. “Draymond was going to rattle ‘em.” Babers-Green had no problem with all the talking and in fact encouraged it and noted that like Warriors coach Steve Kerr does, he was allowed to argue his points. “I never looked at him like he was doing something wrong.”

— Green originally committed to Tubby Smith at Kentucky, but Babers-Green said there was no way she would have ever let him go to school there. She had encouraged her son to be opinionated all his life with her and go at her as long as it didn’t get respectful, and the college decision ended up being a huge debate. “We went at it when he committed to Kentucky,” Babers-Green said.  “We. Went. At. It. He was like, ‘I’m going. Yes I am.’ We went rounds about it.” On a visit to Kentucky while sitting with the Big Blue Nation, Babers-Green said he could sense with a gut feeling that her son didn’t fit there and that it wasn’t for him. As it turned out, Smith resigned and Green ended up at Michigan State.

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry named Most Valuable Player Award, Houston’s James Harden finishes second

OAKLAND – Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the winner of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award, the league announced Monday.

Curry, 27, became the second player in franchise history to win the award, joining Wilt Chamberlain when he won it in 1960 while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors.

Curry received 100 of 130 possible first-place votes after leading the Warriors to a league-best 67-15 record. The Houston Rockets’ James Harden finished second and earned 25 first-place votes after the MVP for months centered on the two players.

Curry averaged 23.8 points and 7.7 assists per game in the regular season, ranking sixth in both categories while breaking his own single-season record for 3-pointers with 286. He was second to Harden in points scored, led the league shooting 91.4 percent from the free throw line and improved to 2.04 steals per game.

A 6-foot-3 point guard, Curry played 32.7 minutes per game for the lowest number out of any player to win the award. But the Warriors in making a case for Curry noted that in his 80 games played, he often sat out entire fourth quarters after having helped the team build large leads.

Harden was second in the league in scoring at 27.4 points per game, leading the Rockets while perennial All-Star center Dwight Howard missed 41 games mostly due to a knee injury. The shooting guard tied for eighth in the league averaging 7 assists per game.

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was third in the voting, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook was fourth, and the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis was fifth.

The balloting was conducted through the end of the regular season.

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry winning MVP a product of his belief

OAKLAND – Sonya Curry did the Warriors’ 3-point celebration after one of her son’s daggers Sunday. She pointed to the ceiling like Stephen does every time that long distance shot he goes in so as to profess his Christian faith.

The Curry family was at Oracle Arena to see the 101-86 win on Sunday, but afterward there was more than just taking the lead in the Western Conference semifinals to celebrate. News broke, as first reported by CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole, that Stephen Curry had won the MVP award.

Despite having a father in Dell who played in the NBA, Stephen had humble beginnings in basketball as the ultimate underdog. His slight frame caused colleges to overlook him, including Dell’s alma mater Virginia Tech, before Davidson saw something in him. Through the ankle injuries and surgeries, Curry had to bounce back.

Curry identifies himself first as a Believer, and it’s not just in the religious sense or just a word incorporated into Under Armour’s shoe campaign. He has the ultimate belief in himself, and it’s unwavering. The results of that can be seen on the court with the Warriors and soon it will be represented in MVP hardware.

Davidson coach Bob McKillop said he was overjoyed by the news and sent congratulatory messages to Curry and his parents.

“He’s deserving, and there’s no one more honorable and for young players no greater role model than Steph Curry,” McKillop said.

“It’s just so overwhelming to see what he’s accomplished knowing what he’s invested.”

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Grizzlies guard Mike Conley officially out vs. Warriors in Game 1 of Western Conference semifinals

OAKLAND – Memphis point guard Mike Conley will miss Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday against the Warriors as he continues to recover from facial surgery last week.

Conley participated in pregame warm-ups at Oracle Arena wearing a mask over his face, which sustained fractures in Game 3 of the Grizzlies’ first-round playoff series against Portland.

“Hopefully the more I get on the court, the more I’m able to move around a little bit, get my body back acclimated to the basketball, I’ll be ready to go soon,” Conley told reporters.

Nick Calathes will make his third straight start in place of Conley, whose face was in such poor shape that coach Dave Joerger expressed nervousness about the player shooting around in the vicinity of bouncing basketballs.

“The game plan doesn’t change at all because they’re still going to run the same stuff,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“It doesn’t change the way we are going to defend them.”

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Kobe Bryant says he would vote Houston’s James Harden for MVP over Warriors’ Stephen Curry

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was in Napa on Wednesday as a luxury watch brand ambassador and spent time talking about the NBA’s MVP award with The Insider.

The votes have already been cast for MVP, and the announcement is expected to come in the next week. Asked who the award goes to this season, Bryant mentioned the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden.

“That’s a tough call, man,” Bryant said. “You’ve got James, who’s been playing consistently all season and  Steph, who’s been doing phenomenal things.”

Bryant won the MVP in 2008, and asked who he would vote for, he said, “That’s a tough call for me, but I would have to say James.”