OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry doesn’t care who’s the face of the Warriors’ franchise. He doesn’t care who gets the most recognition or even who sells the most sneakers.
But don’t just take it from me — that is exactly what he told Kevin Durant just hours after their meeting in the Hamptons last summer.
Curry is an accommodating superstar. His selflessness was almost overbearing at the beginning of the season as he continually went out of his way to make sure that newly-acquired Kevin Durant got his shots and felt comfortable.
But as we now head into the second half of the season, the dynamics of the Golden State Warriors are finally taking shape.
“I think earlier in the season Steph was really going out of his way trying to find KD and make him feel comfortable and get him shots,” Kerr said after the Warriors 46 point win over the Clippers. “I think he was almost worried that if he shot too much maybe it would take away from Kevin.”
When you have the type of ego-less superstars that the Warriors do, the guys who put winning ahead of virtually everything else, the team dynamics will generally fall into place. However this process does not just happen over night.
Kerr said that he first spoke to Curry about his aggressiveness about a month ago. He told the back-to-back MVP that the team loves it when he is aggressive and that he doesn’t need to cater to anybody to make them feel comfortable.
“I think what Steph has realized is that he could just be himself and let it fly,” said Kerr. “We feed off his energy and his shooting. I think the overall dynamics, within the team have been established. In the first half of the season we were probably figuring some of that stuff out.”
Make no mistake about it, the Golden State Warriors are Stephen Curry’s team.
That doesn’t mean that Draymond Green might not be the most important player on the court on any given night or that Kevin Durant isn’t going to take the final shot with the game on the line.
But what it does mean is that the Warriors are at their best when Curry is playing his game. His aggressiveness draws immense attention from the opposing defense, forcing defenders to fight over screens 35-feet away from the basket.
When this happens, off-ball defenders are basically placed into a lose-lose situation: They can sag off of their man to help protect the paint, which then leaves Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant wide open for a jump-shot. Or they can stay within arm’s reach to guard the three-point line, which then opens the entire lane for Curry to create off the dribble and finish at the rim.
The Warriors are just beginning to get settled into their own skin this season. But more importantly, they have figured out that they are at their best when Curry is playing his absolute most aggressive and Stephortless game.