May 21, 2018 | 1:42 pm EDT Update
DeMarcus Cousins told The Undefeated last week that he hadn’t spoken to the New Orleans Pelicans front office “in a while,” but coach Alvin Gentry made clear on Monday the team hopes the All-Star big man will be back with the team next season. “There’s not anyone that does not want him back with our franchise,” Gentry said Monday (May 21) at the Saints Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic at Bayou Oaks City Park’s south course.
Do you get, almost, offended when someone asks you’re having a problem shooting or if something’s wrong after a bad game or two? Stephen Curry: That’s a strong word. I find it amusing, because, one, there’s nothing that anybody can ask me or tell me that I haven’t already been thinking about myself when it comes to how I’m playing, what I need to do better. The consistent thing is I’ll never lose confidence in myself when I’m out there on the floor. That’s why I shoot the shots that I do; that’s why I play the way that I play. Beyond that, it’s part of the game. And I have high expectations for myself, and I know I set lofty goals when it comes to shooting the basketball. And if I don’t meet that standard every night there’s going to be questions about why this, why that. We’re in the Western Conference finals. We have to play well for us to get to that next level.
Is Houston the biggest challenge to you in the West during this run? Stephen Curry: I mean, we were down 3-1 against the Thunder in the same series. Think about where we are right now at this point. It’s a different conversation because we started on the road, All the noise around Houston throughout the course of the season and being on a colliding path (with them) all year. There’s a lot built into hyping this series, and it should be.
You’ve got this chance to repeat, you got relatively healthy as a team. Nobody’s repeated since Miami. On the list of things you can accomplish, does that have any bearing or impact? Stephen Curry: I think it does, because if we win it this year, that’s what that means. It’s something we’ve never done before. This is our second crack at it. Historically, throughout the years, I can’t remember the exact number, but I know it’s single digits how many teams have repeated in the league. We know how hard it is. We always talk about San Antonio, a team that won five of them but never two in a row. It’s totally different circumstances you have to overcome to win a championship one time, much less two in a row. We understand the moment. That’s how we got to this point. But, yeah, that means something. We know how hard it is, and it’s a challenge we haven’t accomplished.
The Rockets seem to be willing to live with KD isoed at the elbow. What’s the sweet spot between letting him attack and everybody touching the ball and the flow, because that’s what you guys do? Stephen Curry: We’ve done it before. I think it’s just a matter of not losing our identity because of how fast we’re playing, creating those possessions when the ball is moving from side to side and everybody’s touching it and being aggressive. What Houston did in Game 1 and Game 2 was Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, they got the ball in their hands and they made plays. We’ve got guys like that, as well—Andre (Iguodala), Klay, Draymond (Green), myself, Shaun (Livingston) as well. DWest coming off the bench. As long as we all get our touches and be aggressive, everybody’s looking to score, KD’s going to get his. I’m going to get mine, everybody’s going to get touches and the opportunity to make a play.
Shams Charania: The Toronto Raptors interviewed Jerry Stackhouse, head coach of G League affiliate Raptors 905, last week in Chicago for the team’s head coach opening, league sources tell Yahoo.
I’m trying to come up with the proper way to ask this. There was another school shooting Friday, this one in Houston. When you have to be locked in as much as you have to be this time of year, is it difficult to process your feelings about tragedies like that—because you have to be human. Do you allow that to impact you the way it would normally? Stephen Curry: That’s a great question. I’ve been in this situation, playing basketball. It’s my job. It’s what I love to do. In the grand scheme of life, win, lose or draw, it’s not the end of the world. When I get to the playoffs, I try to shut out as much as possible. This is a three-month period that means a lot to me and the people around me, and I want to be locked in during that time. But life doesn’t stop for us. When you hear about stories like the Santa Fe shooting, or any type of social unrest, you can’t be numb to it. You have to have that process of talking about it with your family. Everybody has a different way of dealing with those types of situations. To me, you want to be able to let life happen, but understand when it’s time to play, it doesn’t mean I can’t give every bit of my attention and effort or whatever to the court. But make sure that people who depend on me for that type of emotional support (after tragedy) that I’m available for them.