Before he eliminated the Kings with a record-setting Game 7 performance, Stephen Curry delivered a memorable pre-game speech to his teammates, according to Marcus Thompson II and Shams Charania of The Athletic. Curry typically doesn’t talk a lot before games, but he was disappointed that the Warriors missed out on a chance to clinch the series at home and he was upset that Sacramento guard Malik Monk had called the team old. So Curry had the players’ full attention when he rose to speak.
“He is that guy,” Gary Payton II said. “So when he speaks, everybody better listen. Because 30 is usually quiet and lets his game speak for itself. But he had to say what he had to say, because he knew what type of vibe it was … and I don’t think he wanted to give this one up. So he led and we followed.”
According to Thompson and Charania, Curry expressed his belief in his teammates and assured them that they were ready to win in a tough environment. He also implored them to put personal feelings aside, which sources told the authors was a message for Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga and others who have been unhappy with their roles and playing time during the series.
Curry backed up his words with a 50-point performance, the most anyone has ever scored in a seventh game.
“He’s got the same edge as any of the other greats,” Poole said. “That’s what makes him so special. Maybe his approach is a bit different than the other guys, but we know he’s a killer. Everybody in the world knows he’s a killer.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Rumors have persisted that luxury tax concerns will break up Golden State’s roster this summer, but Draymond Green told reporters, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, that shouldn’t be the focus right now. “Stop trying to turn the page on us so fast,” he said. “Stop trying to turn the page on (LeBron James). We get so caught up in what’s the next thing, we don’t appreciate the current. Then you get to the next thing and you’re looking back, like, ‘Man, I wish we still had that. I wish we could still see this.’ So for me and our guys, we are going to appreciate this every step of the way.”
- Kevon Looney gets overlooked because his game isn’t flashy, but he played an important role in the first-round victory, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area. Looney collected 21 rebounds Sunday, including 10 in the third quarter as the Warriors pulled away with the game.
- Klay Thompson is looking forward to his first-ever playoff matchup against the Lakers (video link from HoopsHype). Thompson was born in Los Angeles, and his father spent much of his NBA career as part of some legendary Lakers teams.