- The Golden State Warriors’ season nearly derailed when Kevin Durant and Draymond Green got into an ugly verbal altercation.
- According to several members of the Warriors, Stephen Curry was an “integral” part of repairing the relationship and keeping the team together.
- The Warriors said the team has adopted Curry’s joyfulness and often follow his lead.
- Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.
The Golden State Warriors are three wins away from their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals, but the season was nearly derailed months earlier.
In November, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant’s on-court blowup threatened to tarnish the season. Durant snapped at Green for not getting him the ball for a game-winning shot. Green responded by saying Durant was already preparing to leave the Warriors in free agency and that the team didn’t need him.
The fight turned into an ugly confrontation that reportedly carried into the locker room. The Warriors suspended Green for one game for his comments in what some saw as a sign that they were trying to appease Durant. Others worried the incident would push Durant further out the door.
Durant and Green eventually met separately to talk out the incident and made peace. There haven’t been further signs of strife since.
However, according to members of the Warriors, Stephen Curry played a key part in stabilizing the team following the incident. Curry wasn’t at that game because he stayed in Oakland, California, to rehab a groin injury.
In the Facebook documentary “Stephen vs. the Game,” directed by Gotham Chopra, who also made Tom Brady’s “Tom vs. Time,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Curry was “integral” in helping the team.
“When we returned to the Bay, he was an integral part of trying to repair our spiritual injury,” Kerr said.
“Every good team has to have kind of coalition builders, guys who can build bridges and bring people together, who have the respect of everybody. And that’s what Steph represents for us,” he added.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in the documentary that Curry is great at knowing what to focus on and what to ignore.
Mark Medina of The Mercury News reported in March that when the team got back to Oakland, Curry went to Green’s house to meet with him privately. Medina also reported that Curry met with Durant privately.
On November 15, just days after the verbal altercation, Curry sat between Green and Durant on the bench and often shared laughs with both.
Green told Medina that Curry played “an important role” in settling down the situation, saying, “He was tapped into the situation from the beginning.”
Klay Thompson told Medina that Curry is a “great voice of reason during times of turbulence.”
It all traces back to Curry’s personality. Curry isn’t always considered a vocal leader, but he knows when to speak up. Perhaps more importantly, he’s light-hearted, funny, and keeps things loose.
Green said in the documentary: “This whole entire organisation has taken on Steph’s joyful basketball, his demeanour and presence, just the carefree way he goes about things.”
With Durant injured and out for the remainder of the Warriors neck-and-neck series with the Houston Rockets, the team will need Curry more than ever. In the event he doesn’t deliver on the court, he’ll surely be there to pick up the team off of it.
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