Stephen Curry

Pacific Notes: Curry, Ranadive, Suns, Frank

All-Star Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has been named the league’s 2022-23 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion, the NBA has announced in a press release.

Curry’s efforts in the social justice sphere of late include promoting voting initiatives and building awareness about community safety. He and his wife Ayesha Curry run a non-profit, Eat. Learn. Play., focused on ensuring nutritious foods be provided to children in underserved Oakland communities. Curry also runs a lifestyle brand, UNDERRATED, and Unanimous Media, a multimedia company, which are designed to create opportunities for underrepresented athletes and creators, respectively.

As a condition of Curry’s win this year, the NBA will donate $100K to the social justice cause of Curry’s choosing, the University of San Francisco Institute for Nonviolence and Social Justice.

Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr., Spurs reserve point guard Tre Jones, Suns starting point guard Chris Paul and Celtics power forward Grant Williams were the other four finalists for the award. All will earn $25K from the league, to be donated to the charity of their choosing.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive was among seven finalists bidding for NHL club the Ottawa Senators, but has since fallen out of the running, per Randy Diamond of The Sacramento Bee. Each of the seven finalists had reportedly been proposing purchase prices north of $800MM. Ranadive’s ownership group bought Sacramento a decade ago for $533MM. The club’s valuation is currently estimated at $2.5 billion.
  • The Suns’ interviews for their head coaching vacancy might conclude this weekend, reports John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix (Twitter link). Former Raptors head coach Nick Nurse and Kings associate head coach Jordi Fernandez interviewed on Thursday. Ex-Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and ex-Sixers head coach Doc Rivers, who coached Phoenix starting point guard Chris Paul on the Clippers, are set to meet with Suns executives on Friday.
  • Clippers team president Lawrence Frank released a statement thanking and congratulating former Los Angeles GM Michael Winger on his new job as team president for the Wizards (Twitter link). “Michael is one of the NBA’s brightest team-builders, a strategic and creative thinker who is always a step ahead,” Frank said in part.

And-Ones: Curry, Pelicans, Fredette, Maddox, NBA Con

The Warriors Stephen Curry won another NBA award, but it wasn’t for his on-court prowess. He’s the recipient of the Professional Basketball Writers Association’s 2023 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his inspiring work in the community, the PBWA tweets. Curry was selected for promoting youth literacy, fitness and nutrition, as well as fostering gender equity in sports. Lakers center Wenyen Gabriel, Clippers forward Paul George and Celtics forward Grant Williams were the other finalists.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • The Pelicans’ lease at the Smoothie King Arena expires next June but they plan to renew it to remain there for several more years, Christian Clark of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. However, after renewing the lease, they plan to commission a study on whether renovations can be made to upgrade the arena or whether a new one is needed. Commissioner Adam Silver has stated that every arena in the league needs to be state of the art. New Orleans’ arena has the fewest seats of any lower bowl in the NBA.
  • Former NBA player Jimmer Fredette is among the players chosen for the USA’s Men’s 3×3 World Cup Team, the organization tweets. Timberwolves video associate Kareem Maddox is also on the squad, Minnesota’s PR department tweets. The four-member team will compete in the FIBA 3×3 World Cup from May 30 to June 4 in Vienna, Austria.
  • The NBA is adding a new fan-friendly event at the Summer League in Las Vegas, according to a league press release. NBA Con, a celebration of the best of hoops culture, will debut at Mandalay Bay from July 7-9, 2023.  NBA Con will bring together the fashion, music, cuisine, art and technology that make the league a cultural phenomenon, with appearances by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, top draft prospects Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson and numerous current NBA stars.

Warriors’ Kerr Talks Kuminga, Moody, Klay, Dunleavy, Curry

After telling reporters earlier in the week that Jonathan Kuminga can earn a bigger role going forward by becoming a more versatile player, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr explained his thinking in more depth during an appearance on Tim Kawakami’s podcast on Friday.

“He’s a four,” Kerr said of Kuminga. “For him to take the next step, he needs to be able to play the three as an offensive player. He can play the three defensively; he can guard, really, one through four. But offensively, to play the three you’ve got to be really skilled in this league today, you’ve gotta see the floor, you’ve gotta be able to make plays. And right now, I think he’s much more of a four than he is a three on the offensive end.”

Kerr added that there’s a path for Kuminga to claim regular playing time as the team’s primary backup power forward next season.

Asked about a report stating that Kuminga’s representatives would talk to the Warriors this offseason in the hopes of their client getting either consistent minutes in Golden State or a change of scenery, Kerr downplayed the importance of that story.

“That’s standard in the NBA,” he told Kawakami.

Here are a few more highlights from Kerr’s podcast appearance:

  • While Kuminga fell out of Golden State’s rotation in the postseason, fellow second-year player Moses Moody saw regular playoff minutes despite an up-and-down role in the second half of the season. According to Kerr, Moody earned his postseason playing time based on what he showed in practices. “Moses had a real breakthrough late in the season in the pickup games that our guys play and in 3-on-3 and the individual work,” Kerr told Kawakami. “You could see he realized a lot of things — how to use his strength, he realized how hard he had to play, how hard he had to go after loose balls, rebounds. That translates. … That’s what you look for — you look for someone who’s got perseverance and stays with it and keeps working and eventually breaks through. But you just don’t know how long that process is going to take.”
  • Klay Thompson is coming off a subpar postseason by his standards and is entering his mid-30s, so Kerr wants to talk to the veteran sharpshooter about how his game can continue to evolve. But removing Thompson from the starting lineup won’t be a consideration next season. “He’s still a great two-way player. He’s got so much left to offer,” Kerr said. “… He just had a particularly great second half of the season. He’s still a starter in this league, for sure.”
  • Kerr told Kawakami that he and Warriors executive Mike Dunleavy Jr. talk “pretty frequently” and that Dunleavy and president of basketball operations Bob Myers are “best friends.” Dunleavy is viewed as a logical candidate for a promotion if Myers doesn’t remain in Golden State. “I like to get his thoughts,” Kerr said of Dunleavy. “He had a long playing career, he’s been in the NBA his entire life, basically, with his dad being a coach and general manager and player. So Mike’s got a great feel for the league, great perspective, and he’s someone I really trust.”
  • Kerr, the NBA’s third-longest tenured head coach, credited Stephen Curry for solidifying his job security during his time in Golden State. “Generally speaking, a long-tenured coach is beholden to (a superstar) like Steph Curry,” Kerr said. “So I’m completely aware that the only reason I’ve been here nine years is that I get to coach one of the all-time great players and human beings in NBA history.”

Warriors Rumors: Draymond, Core Trio, Poole, More

While the future of president of basketball operations Bob Myers remains uncertain, the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are still likely to be on the Warriors‘ roster in 2023/24, sources tell Marc Stein at Substack.

That aligns with reporting from Tim Kawakami of The Athletic, who hears that the franchise is “in no rush” to break up the core that has won four championships together.

After Green famously punched Jordan Poole during training camp, it seemed unlikely the former Defensive Player of the Year, who holds a $27.6MM player option for next season, would remain in the team’s long-term plans.

However, he won back the team’s respect over the course of the season, according to Kawakami, who says that Curry has long considered Green his “first pick” as a teammate. Kawakami also notes that Green’s value on the open market may be limited and he’s “more valuable to the Warriors and with the Warriors than anywhere else.”

Thompson, meanwhile, will be entering the final year of his contract and eligible for a veteran extension, but there’s no indication the team has any plans to trade him at this point — quite the opposite.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Green has said he’s undecided on whether nor not he’ll pick up his player option, but either way, he wants to “be a Warrior for life.” A report from The Athletic indicated that the team intends to discuss a multiyear contract with the big man, though it didn’t specify if that would be a new deal or an extension if he exercises his option. It sounds like it might be the former — sources tell Logan Murdock of The Ringer that the Warriors would be open to a multiyear contract if Green declines his option.
  • Murdock’s story is full of interesting details on Golden State’s season. He writes that not only did Green punching Poole negatively impact their own relationship — Poole viewed Green as a mentor during his first three seasons — but it also deepened the divide between the old guard and the team’s young players. “I don’t have no answer for you,” Poole said of his relationship with Green. “Other than that, we was just on the court and teammates, and we was out there trying to win games. What I do recall saying at the beginning of the season is that, ‘We’re coming. We’re going to come out here. We’re going to play on the court. We’re going to try to win a championship.’ We were teammates. It’s just business, honestly. And that’s really all it was, it is, it has been. It’s just been business. It’s been basketball.”
  • The free agency departures of Otto Porter, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Gary Payton II (who was later re-acquired at the trade deadline) also played a factor in the divide, according to Murdock. Not only did having the veterans stabilize the rotation, but they held the respect of both the old and young players. This season, the young players grew frustrated with their lack of minutes, Murdock writes. “That’s the normal NBA, and we haven’t had to deal with normal NBA,” Andre Iguodala told Murdock last month. “We’ve been in fantasyland for so long, and this year was more like the real NBA.”
  • Poole was criticized throughout the season — and particularly in the postseason — for his shot selection, turnovers and poor defense. Yet after the Game 5 victory against the Lakers, Curry told Murdock that Poole was “the key” to bridging the present and the future, showing the Warriors still have faith in the 23-year-old.
  • Poole’s future is reportedly up in the air, as the team might explore the trade market for him if it decides to make a cost-cutting move with the new CBA about to kick in. “I don’t know why I wouldn’t be [back],” Poole told Murdock. “It wasn’t a bad year. I mean, career highs in two categories. I was able to make history with Klay and Steph. My first game-winner. It was a lot of good things that happened this season. It wasn’t a bad season. Yes, I’m in the fabric. Yes, I belong here in this organization, bridging the gap. And I’m a young guy who was drafted here. We won a championship last year, and we have another chance to do it again. And I don’t know why anybody else would feel otherwise. I don’t think anybody is thinking like that.”

Bob Myers’ Future With Warriors Remains Uncertain

Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers, whose contract expires at the end of next month, “plans to take a couple of weeks” to determine what he wants to do in the future, telling ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that he’s “torn” on returning largely due to his close relationships with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and head coach Steve Kerr (Twitter video link).

That aligns with a recent report from Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, who heard from sources that Myers was going to take some time before coming to a decision.

One interesting part of Shelburne’s report that got lost in the shuffle was that owner Joe Lacob pitched lucrative contract offers to Myers that would have given him the flexibility to take time off if he so desired. Reading between the lines, it’s clear that the team is well aware of Myers’ career uncertainty.

Myers is the most likely of that longtime core group to depart the Warriors, sources tell Marc Stein in his latest article at Substack. There’s a “strong expectation” within the organization that if Myers doesn’t re-sign, he’s more likely to take “at least” the 2023/24 season off to spend time with family rather than join a rival front office, according to Stein.

A two-time Executive of the Year, Myers is a former college basketball player (UCLA) and sports agent who has been an executive with the Warriors since 2011, winning four championships. A recent report from The Athletic indicated that VP of basketball operations Mike Dunleavy Jr. may take over for Myers if he decides not to return.

Draft Notes: Wembanyama, Henderson, Combine, Roach

Victor Wembanyama will be the grand prize at Tuesday’s draft lottery, so Brian Windhorst and Jonathan Givony of ESPN took a look at the decade-long development of the French phenom. Long before he grew into a 7’5″ international star, Wembanyama was considered a special prospect even at age eight. The authors cite a YouTube video in which he intercepts a pass in a 2012 game and covers about 30 feet in two dribbles before laying the ball into the basket.

Wembanyama grew up in an athletic family near Paris with his mother playing basketball professionally before becoming a youth coach and his father competing as a long jumper. Wembanyama also learned the game from Karim Boubekri, a coach who developed his strategies by watching Pete Maravich and the AND1 Mixtape stars. That brought a level of creativity to Wembanyama’s game that he was determined to preserve, even if it meant battling with his coaches.

“I was probably born with that will to do things differently and do things my way,” he said. “I’m really glad I kept that willpower, to not (let) sometimes coaches put me in a box. That’s really an everyday fight.”

There’s more draft news to pass along:

  • G League guard Scoot Henderson, who’s a strong candidate to be taken second overall, is receiving assistance from Stephen Curry‘s training team as he prepares for his NBA future, writes Janie McCauley of The Associated Press. Henderson and his sister Moochie, who will play at Georgia State, have partnered with Curry’s company, SC30 Inc. “Just getting this early training and early knowledge from Steph mentoring me and the people around him, it’s a blessing,” Scoot Henderson said. “Me just turning 19, just getting that knowledge early, it’s really cool.”
  • Wembanyama and Henderson occupy the top two spots in the latest mock draft issued by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Brandon Miller, Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson round out the top five.
  • With the NBA Draft Combine starting today, eight players have been called up from the G League Elite Camp, Givony tweets. They are Jazian Gortman of Overtime Elite, Sir’Jabari Rice of Texas, Hunter Tyson and PJ Hall of Clemson, Johni Broome of Auburn, Tosan Evbuomwan of Princeton, Kendric Davis of Memphis and Dillon Jones of Weber State.
  • Jeremy Roach has elected to pull his name out of the draft and return to Duke for another season, tweets Jeff Goodman of Stadium. Roach wasn’t listed on ESPN’s big board and was considered unlikely to be drafted.

Western Notes: Lakers, Reaves, Curry, Miller

On paper, the Nuggets are the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. But Lakers guard Austin Reaves doesn’t view his team – the West’s No. 7 seed – as the underdog, Jovan Buha of The Athletic relays.

“I think the seeding thing is, it’s just a number,” the Lakers guard said. “When you have guys like Bron, AD, that’s won championships … (you) always feel like you have a chance, especially with the roster that we have and the talent that we have.”

Lakers forward Anthony Davis echoed those sentiments: “Our expectations inside are way higher than showing up to the Western Conference Finals.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Lakers need to do whatever than can to retain Reaves, who will be a restricted free agent after the season, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register writes. Reaves is averaging 15.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists during the playoffs. The Lakers hold his Early Bird rights and are limited to an $11.4MM offer in the first year of a new contract, but they can match an offer sheet.
  • Stephen Curry is still hopeful of getting another championship with the Warriors, Vince Goodwill of Yahoo Sports writes. “You can’t win it every year, but you wanna be in the position to be serious contenders,” Curry said after the Warriors were eliminated by the Lakers. “Final eight, you can retool and be back.”
  • A scout told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that if the Rockets wind up with Brandon Miller, he can immediately be inserted into the team’s lineup. “His overall package is sort of the modern, NBA wing-type player,” the scout said. “I think he’ll be able to plug that in wherever he goes fairly quickly.”

NBA Announces 2022/23 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2022/23 season.

A total of 100 media members vote on the All-NBA awards. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for Second Team, and one point for Third Team, for a maximum total of 500 points. This year’s three All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

A total of 37 players received at least one vote, per the NBA. The top vote-getters who wound up missing out on All-NBA spots were Lakers center Anthony Davis (65), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (49) and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (44).

Morant had Rose Rule language in his rookie scale extension, meaning his five-year deal would have started at 30% of next season’s cap had he been voted in; instead, he’ll receive 25% of the cap, which is projected to be a difference of about $39MM across five seasons.

Other players receiving 20-plus points include Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (39), Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) and Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (23). The next three highest were Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (15), Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (15) and Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves (14), who is listed under forward but spent most of the season at shooting guard.

As we noted earlier today, both of the Celtics’ top two players will now be eligible for Designated Veteran Extensions, also known as the super-max: Brown will be eligible to sign a five-year extension this offseason that starts at up to 35% of the 2024/25 salary cap, while Tatum will be eligible to sign a super-max extension in 2024 after earning All-NBA nods each of the past two seasons.

Like Brown, Siakam would have been eligible for a super-max extension this summer had he made an All-NBA team. He finished a distant ninth, so his maximum extension will now be worth a projected $192.2MM over four years, tweets Eric Koreen of The Athletic. As Josh Lewenberg of observes (via Twitter), Siakam could still qualify for a super-max deal if he makes an All-NBA spot next season as an impending free agent.

This will be the last season under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the new CBA, All-NBA voting will be positionless and players will be required to play a minimum of 65 games to earn major regular season awards. Five of the players honored today — Antetokounmpo, Curry, Butler, Lillard and James — played fewer than 65 this season and would have been ineligible if the new requirements had been in effect, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

LeBron extended his own NBA record with his selection, earning a spot on an All-NBA team for the 19th straight season, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). No other player has more than 15 total All-NBA awards (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are tied for second at 15 apiece).

Giannis was a unanimous First Team selection for the fifth straight season, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link), and the only unanimous choice in 2022/23. Antetokounmpo now has more First Team berths than any European-born player, tweets HoopsHype, and only trails Hakeem Olajuwon among international players (six). The Bucks superstar finished third in MVP voting behind Embiid and Jokic, but Jokic received some First Team votes over the Sixers’ MVP winner, which is why Embiid wasn’t a unanimous pick.

According to HoopsHype (Twitter link), this is the first season in league history that only one American player (Tatum) was voted to the First Team. Doncic (Slovenia) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) are European, Embiid was born in Cameroon, and Gilgeous-Alexander is Canadian.

Despite earning an All-NBA nod for the first time, Mitchell wasn’t happy that he didn’t make the First Team, sending out a tweet on the matter.

Warriors Notes: Poole, Draymond, Kuminga, Curry

The Warriors had no qualms about Jordan Poole‘s deep three-point attempt that would have evened the score late in Game 1 against the Lakers, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

It was a shot he was open and flowing,” Stephen Curry said of Poole. “Considering how they guard us on that possession, you know, trapping me at the half court, Draymond (Green) swinging it over to him, it’s kind of an in-rhythm shot.

I’m sure he felt pretty good about it. That’s why he shot it. There are no kind of regrets about that. It’s just a make-or-miss type situation and a lot of trust in him and his ability to put the ball in the basket.”

As Andrew notes, Poole struggled mightily in the team’s first-round victory over Sacramento, but played much better in Tuesday’s loss, recording 21 points and making 6-of-11 three-pointers.

Here’s more on the Warriors:

  • Green, who holds a $27.6MM player option for 2023/24, knows he needs to give the Warriors more for the rest of the series after struggling through early foul trouble in Game 1, per Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “I’ve got to play better,” Green uttered at his locker, still shaking his head. He finished with six points on 3-of-9 shooting and only four rebounds, and the Warriors were outscored by eight points with him on the court, Thompson writes.
  • After spending much of the regular season in the rotation, second-year forward Jonathan Kuminga admits it has been “tough” to be riding the bench in the playoffs, but he’s trying to maintain a positive outlook. “At this point in my life, in my career, there’s not much to be afraid of,” Kuminga told C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle (subscriber link). “There’s no matchup I can’t handle… A day is going to come where I get my way, and every time I get my way things turn out well. So I’m just waiting for my moment… I’m always going to be ready to play.”
  • As one of the most famous athletes in the world, Curry finds it difficult at times to decompress. He says the game of golf is his “safe space” away from the court, according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN (Insider link). “There’s definitely a correlation to him playing golf and his performance on the court,” front office member Johnnie West told ESPN.

Lakers Notes: James, Curry, Davis, Bamba, Russell, Roster

The playoff matchup between the LeBron James-led Lakers and Stephen Curry-led Warriors should be a thriller. James has great respect for what Curry, who scored 50 points on Sunday to close out the Kings, has accomplished, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.

“[Curry] puts in the work,” James said. “And when you put in the work, nine times out of 10 you’re going to see the results. And he’s done that throughout his whole, entire career. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Steph and everything he’s been able to accomplish, not only on the floor but also off the floor, too. It’s just great to have people like that in this league to set an example for the generation to come.”

James says that Curry presents an imposing defensive challenge for the entire team.

“You’ve seen some of the shots, the routine shots, that Steph was making in Game 7 that everybody was going crazy after,” James said. “That’s just Steph. When you’re that great, you make tough shots like that. So, we’ve got to be locked in and not hurt ourselves.”

We have more on the Lakers:

  • The team comes into the second round in relatively good health. James (right foot soreness) and Anthony Davis (right foot stress injury) are listed as probable for Game 1 on Tuesday, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Mohamed Bamba (left ankle soreness) is listed as questionable.
  • D’Angelo Russell, who will be a free agent after the season, poured in 31 points when the Lakers knocked out the second-seeded Grizzlies in Game 6. Performances like that could enhance Russell’s chances of re-signing with the team, Joe Vardon of The Athletic writes. The Lakers are reportedly not interested in signing Kyrie Irving and reuniting him with James.
  • Thanks to the changes made in-season, the new-look Lakers have all the pieces in place to win the championship, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer opines. The club now has shot creators who can provide a spark and take pressure off of James and Davis.