Stephen Curry knows that the rift between his Golden State Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Draymond Green might be viewed by outsiders as something that can doom the defending champions’ NBA season.
To them, he has a message.
“That’s not going to happen,” Curry said on Saturday.
Curry spoke publicly for the first time about the testy exchange between Durant and Green – they went at each other late in what became an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers last Monday night, and the fallout has been a major talking point around the NBA since.
“I think the way we’ve handled it as a team, the way Draymond’s handled it, the way KD’s handled it, it’s been nothing but professionalism,” Curry said.
Green is getting the weekend off; the Warriors held him out of their game in Dallas on Saturday because of an ongoing issue with a toe, and he isn’t expected to play when they visit San Antonio on Sunday.
It’s been a rocky couple of weeks for Green. He hurt the toe against Memphis on November 5, missed the next two games, returned for the game against the Clippers – the one where he had the dustup with Durant – and was suspended by the Warriors for their next game, against Atlanta on Wednesday. Green played in Houston the next night, on a minutes restriction because of the toe, and went scoreless.
Curry was asked why he thinks Durant and Green will reconcile.
“They have a lot of equity built in their relationship,” Curry said.
“They’ve won championships together. They’ve brought out the best in each other. Obviously, I don’t think they’ve had an incident to this level, but you don’t have the experiences that you’ve had and go through the journey that we’ve been on and let it be derailed by something like that.”
The Warriors are trying this season to join only the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls as franchises to win three consecutive NBA titles.
Curry said that will be foremost in the Warriors’ collective thoughts going forward.
“We have the opportunity to do something extremely special this year,” Curry said. “There’s going to be ups and downs and bumps in the road, whether it’s self-inflicted or whether it’s from outside. At the end of the day nothing should distract us from what our goal is.”
Curry missed his fifth straight game on Saturday with a strained left groin, and is likely to miss at least another week before he’s cleared to return.