Storyline: Durant-Curry Dynamic

40 rumors in this storyline

Durant, a former MVP and two-time Finals MVP himself, was quick to choose the latter, who he won two NBA titles with in three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. “Steph Curry,” Durant replied to the question on ex-Thunder teammate Serge Ibaka’s cooking show Monday. “He can shoot better.” Curry is a 48% career shooter and 44% career three-point shooter while Westbrook is 43% from the field and a 31% from beyond the arc on his career.

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1 month ago via ESPN

“At the end of the day, we live in an age where choice at the forefront, and K, you know, made a decision for himself and you can’t argue that,” Curry said. “I wish we could still play with K. He’s an unbelievable talent, unbelievable person. We accomplished a lot together. But– you know, things have changed a little bit. So you obviously wish him the best, obviously with his recovery first and foremost and things on and off the court. But we’re gonna have to battle down the road. So this should be a fun, new experience on that front too.”
1 month ago via ESPN

When asked about Durant’s quote to the Journal that “nobody could get a full acceptance of me there,” Curry held to the belief that Durant had to make the best decision for himself and the Warriors would always cherish the two championships the group won together with Durant during his three-year stint with the team. “I mean, that’s tough,” Curry said. “There’s so many narratives that go on, especially when you’re at the top of the league. No matter how, you know, the full transition happens to Brooklyn, him separating himself from the Warriors — that’s gonna happen. I think he knows, you know, what we were about as teammates, what we were about as friends on and off the court.
1 month ago via ESPN

Curry struck a similar chord when Nichols asked about Durant’s quote to the Journal regarding the Warriors offense and Kerr’s offensive system — with Durant saying in part, “The motion offense we run in Golden State, it only works to a certain point.” “Well, I don’t– care what plays we ran,” Curry said. “We won two championships. And at the end of the day, we had a lotta talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn’t always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself. We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I’d rather have some championships too.”

Curry opened up in an extended Q&A session about Durant’s exit with the type of diplomatic answer one would expect from Curry. “The three years that we had were special,” Curry said via The Mercury News. “With KD, we had three straight Finals appearances. We won two of them, and we accomplished a lot as a group. Everybody talks about the amount of talent that we had on our team, but that doesn’t guarantee that you can figure it out on the court, that you can put all the pieces together to be successful. I’m really proud of what we accomplished.

He told Durant in the Hamptons back in July 2016 that he didn’t care about whose team it was, who got the most shots or who sold the most shoes. And three years later, he still doesn’t care. That’s all a Chick-fil-A sandwich to him — just as valuable in the hands of others if it means the family eats. The Warriors have never looked more like Durant’s team, in the way the NBA landscape measures this stuff, and Curry seems to never have cared less. That’s clear in his defensive tone when talking about the perceived Warriors struggles and the panic from them being pushed to six games by the Clippers.

The enthusiasm is obvious as his eyes beamed excitedly when he talked about his performance, even though his numbers have stopped jumping off the page like his 38 points did in Game 1. The world saw Durant looking like the best player in the world. What Curry saw was a dynamic duo clicking like they should. “We feed off each other that way,” Curry said of him and Durant. “We highlight each other’s strengths. His strength is he can get a bucket any time he wants to, but we can also take some pressure off of him. But when he’s dominant like that, and then every two or three possessions I can come off a pick-and-roll and either I’m scoring or getting into the lane or somebody is getting a — WE HAD SEVEN LOBS.”

Curry is older now, his life more textured, his vision clearer, because of contacts and because of experience. So he knows the Warriors must evolve, and he must lead the way. Which means finding just as much fulfillment in sharing his Chick-fil-A as devouring it himself. “I want more shots, yeah,” Curry confessed. “But my aggressiveness is not in search of that. It’s just trying to make plays. You can tell by our body language it’s a different effect out there. KD had it going all night. The times he didn’t have the ball in his hands, we were still getting good shots. Even if it was me or Draymond or Andre or Klay. Whoever it was. That’s when we’re at our best. Look around the league, everybody is nitpicking everybody,” he continued. “It don’t matter. As long as I’m still playing basketball, it don’t matter. The last two runs with K, there’s been an amazing balance. Everybody in the locker room is highlighting each other’s strengths. When we don’t do that is when we get beat. It’s about balance.”

Golden State Warriors superstars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are playing better together than at any other point in their three-year tenure, a fact that has become clear through the first two weeks of the NBA season. “The continuity of being together now for a while, winning back-to-back titles together, I think there’s probably a better comfort zone, comfort area between the two of them than there’s ever been,” Warriors head Steve Kerr said after the duo polished off another offensive masterpiece on Sunday night by combining for 69 points in a 120-114 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant played just fine without Curry in the postseason, averaging 27.9 points on 47.9 percent shooting in six playoff games. With Durant going only 28.3 percent from 3-point range, however, perhaps he will have easier looks with Curry’s gravity attracting defenses. “On offense, it definitely picks the pace up for us. Defensively, I think we stick to the same principles. When Steph is not out there, it’s not a lot of off-ball movement to space,” Durant said. “It’s obviously different not having him out there. But when he’s out there, he’s creating space with his movement off the ball and in the pick-and-roll.”

“You can’t just roll the ball out and be like, ‘Go play. Y’all are talented. Y’all will figure it out,’ ” Curry told Yahoo Sports. “For three years, we had been grinding with a certain roster, and a way of playing, and that all changed and you’ve got to adjust and K especially brings a different level of play but we had to figure out how to balance it all. We had some ups and downs. We won some games, but it wasn’t as smooth as we wanted it to be. And I think we were overthinking it too much, early on. Hit a little stumbling block, talked our way through it, figured our way out of it and we’re better for it.”

“It wasn’t like I just got to know Steph when I came here. I knew what his DNA was already, so that was a plus. I wasn’t surprised with his spirit, his energy. The way he played,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “I studied him. I study all these players I played against. I kind of knew Steph because he’s one of the best in the league, so I just wanted to see how hard he works on a day-to-day basis. And once I saw that early on, I was like, ‘He’s my type of guy.’ Somebody that I enjoy being around. Somebody that I enjoy learning from and working with. I feel like we’re teaching each other a bunch of stuff about the game. Iron only sharpens iron, so I want to be around the best when it comes to getting better as a player.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Indeed, by season’s end, the seesaw act had worked to the tune of 67 wins. And after Durant’s return to the lineup in early April, the two combined for 119 points on 37-of-66 shooting in two games together in their first-round series sweep of the Trail Blazers. Still, two games does not a championship run make. In fact, it takes two months. Few have learned that lesson quite like Curry. One month he was touted as the “unanimous MVP.” The next, after a disappointing loss in the Finals, “unanimous MVP” became a sardonic epithet, a cudgel against a guy who’d rushed back from injury and into his own basketball Waterloo. He knows all too well that a season of never-ending praise can be upended in days. “I know if I’m not playing well,” he says. “And I can’t say that anybody’s right in the way that they talk about my year.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Later, with 30 seconds left in the half, Steph makes the return official when he eagerly sprints into and launches a 3-pointer with his heel on the half-court logo. Swish. Steph hunches over and duck-walks away from his creation. As one does. He’ll finish with six 3s in only three quarters of play. “I think Steph catered to the whole theme of pleasing,” Bruce Fraser, the Warriors-appointed shooting coach, would later say. “He wanted to please. He catered to the whole, took less for himself. The irony in this season so far is that we had to learn how to play with KD, had to learn how to play without him. And both of those were challenges.”
3 years ago via ESPN

Fissures had been forming. Genial Steph was noticeably frustrated with the state of affairs, perhaps more so than he’d ever been in the Kerr era. He played poorly overall on Christmas — 15 points on 36 percent shooting — and had barely touched the ball down the stretch. In the final four minutes, Curry took as many shots as Cavs role player Richard Jefferson (one). Though it was a regular-season game, Kerr elected to sub Curry out on the last defensive possession for the taller and longer Shaun Livingston. It was an understandable move to thwart a LeBron James pick-and-roll aimed directly at Curry, but it amplified the embarrassment. Steph’s head was in his hands as Kyrie Irving hit the game winner over Thompson.
3 years ago via ESPN

Curry’s reputation was taking a beating, and the Warriors didn’t appear substantially more assured of a title than they would’ve been with last season’s squad. The wooing of Durant wasn’t like Miami’s super-team formation, which arose out of LeBron and Dwyane Wade’s deep friendship. Curry and Durant got along just fine, but Curry simply went along with the pursuit of KD — it wasn’t something he concocted. He’d been a good soldier by accepting what was right for the franchise, by abruptly leaving his basketball camp to fly to the Hamptons. For this, his reward had been a diminished reputation, offensive marginalization and little outward, organizational praise for the sacrifice.
3 years ago via ESPN

3 years ago via ESPN

“I look at the numbers,” Kerr said of the distribution of shots between stars. “We obviously play a little different than most teams. We’ve been last in the NBA in pick-and-roll plays three years in a row. We do a lot of stuff off the ball. So obviously with KD’s arrival, the dynamics changed a little bit. So, Steph has the ball a little less this year. So does KD. Sometimes I’ll just, if I think Steph needs the ball more, I’ll call more plays for him. But for the most part, it kind of happens organically.”

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