Stephen Curry got exactly what he wanted. The two-time MVP point guard for the Golden State Warriors publicly stated that he wanted to be the All-Star Game captain, and yesterday that dream became a reality.
At the team hotel in Chicago, Curry talked about the excitement of being a captain in the inaugural year of the All-Star Game’s new format. Austin Slater of The Athletic transcribed the conversation, and there’s some pretty great stuff, including Curry talking about selecting his teammates:
I’m pretty sure he’d (Kevin Durant) be a pretty solid pick if you have the first pick. If ‘Bron (LeBron James) doesn’t take him, I probably will for sure . . . You get the All-Star experience when you get there. So Draymond and Klay being on my team, when that takes shape next (Tuesday), if I got them on deck and I can pick them, I know what it’s like to play with them, have them on my team, have fun in LA, that’s what it’s about. Then the rest of the squad comes together.
Curry also talked about how deserving Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are of reserve spots, saying, “They’ve deserved it in years past and our body of work, as a team, what we’ve all done together has only gotten better. So they should get it right next Tuesday . . . We have the best record in the league, they’ve been playing amazing all year, doing exactly what they need to do to help the team and push themselves individually. I don’t see how they could get that one wrong.”
Curry sounds pretty excited about the whole thing, and he should be! It’s a pretty big honor.
Speaking of honors, could Curry get another MVP?
Curry already has two MVPs, but he’s been making a strong case this year for a third. The discussion surrounding Curry has been fascinating: Is his play strong enough to negate his lost time?
By many (maybe even most) people’s standards, Curry has been the best player this NBA season. He is scoring the ball with remarkable efficiency, and impacting the offense like few, if any, ever have.
But he’s also missed 15 games due to injury, and availability is one of the most valuable traits in the NBA. So where does that leave Curry with regards to the hardware?
At Bballbreakdown, Kelly Scaletta put Curry second on his hypothetical ballot, behind only James Harden. But Scaletta notes that “Curry missed too many games to take the prize from Harden just yet”, which suggests that Curry has been the better player, but the playing time gap is just a little too big.
If Curry stays healthy the rest of the year, it will be interesting to see where he ends up on the MVP ballots. A third trophy is not out of question.
Do players not like Draymond Green? Does he care?
Green earned the second-most All-Star fan votes of any frontcourt player from the West, trailing only Durant. So why did he not get one of the three starting spots?
Turns out the players weren’t so high on him. Green was only seventh in player voting, while finishing sixth in media voting.
For Green, the fan success was a pleasant surprise, while the player neglect was no surprise at all. As reported by The Mercury News, Green said, “That’s dope. I appreciate all the fans. I didn’t really expect any players to vote me in, though. That’s cool.”
Green noted that a lot of players don’t take the voting seriously, as evidenced by former Warriors legend James Michael McAdoo earning a player vote (Note: Green did not point out McAdoo’s vote. There was no slight from him, only from me.).
On the whole, Green seemed unperturbed, but knowing him, he’s probably using the low player voting as motivation. It’s just what he does.
For what it’s worth, Thompson experienced something similar, finishing fifth among guards in both the fan vote and the media vote, but ninth in the player vote. Curry and Durant both finished first in fan vote and player vote, with Durant also finishing first in the media vote, and Curry finishing second.
The Warriors have won 14 games in a row on the road. That’s obviously mighty impressive, but it’s stunning just how rare that is. Check it out:
Warriors enter tomorrow night's game on a 14-game road winning streak, which is tied for the longest road win streak in franchise history and tied for the third-longest such streak in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/WLco18kaK7— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) January 19, 2018
One more road win would set the franchise record, while two more would tie them for the NBA record. Not bad at all.
Damion Lee’s path, and future
Damion Lee is not just another G-League player. The Santa Cruz Warriors’ wing is engaged to Sydel Curry, sister of Steph, meaning he’s about to enter a legendary basketball family.
And all the while, he’s simply trying to fully recover from an ACL injury, and live out his dream of making it to the NBA.
Blake Murphy of The Athletic profiled Lee’s long journey in a wonderful piece that covers both his skills, and his personality. It’s a terrific read about a player who just may be suiting up for Golden State one day. You never know.