KD & Steph Talk About Troll Videos, Joy, And What Will Define This Season’s Championship Run (Video)Read Now
The Golden State Warriors are the NBA's resident rock stars, whether at home or on the road they pack arenas to the gills. Fans come from far and wide to see the offensive exploits of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. So far this early season, they are in a groove and appear to be dead set on playing with the effervescence, and fluidity that started this run back in 2015. Head coach Steve Kerr often refers to the way the team plays when things are going well, as joy. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. This aptly describes the Warriors right now. The two time defending champions are attempting to become only the fourth franchise in NBA history to three-peat, joining the Bulls, Celtics, and Lakers. A monumental task, as consecutive trips to the Finals and winning, takes a tremendous toll both physically and mentally. But, the Dubs are keenly aware that basketball immortality is within their grasp and they are determined to finish this ride with a title, as it may well be the last title for this current version of the squad. With KD and Klay's free agency looming in the summer of 2019, the Warriors know what many people are saying and speculating, but the team is blocking out all of that outside noise and focused on the present and playing this season the way they want.
This past weekend the champs were in New York City and took over like invading conquerors. On Friday night, they beat the Knicks in Madison Square Garden, 128-100. KD finished with 41, including outscoring the Knicks by himself 25-16 in the fourth quarter. On Sunday evening, KD and Steph were ruthlessly efficient scoring a combined for 69 points on 46 shots, in a 120-114 win over the Nets in Brooklyn. On the court, the team was full of smiles and played with an ease and comfort that was missing during last season's championship run. No doubt, familiarity, and cohesion between the team's two best players are at their highest points right now. This is year three of the KD experience. Steph and KD know how the other likes to play and when to push and pull. There is still some stylistic tension and there will always be a little when you have two dynamic offensive talents, that score in different ways. But neither seems bothered by the tension, at least outwardly. Both men, want to win that third title and have fun while doing it.
Should the Warriors advance to the NBA Finals as many predict, this will be their fifth consecutive trip. Look back through the history of this league and the only team to advance to more consecutive Finals were Bill Russell's Celtics. They went to ten straight and won eight in a row from 1959-1966. That was another era and a very different league. Given the amount of talent and teams in today's NBA, replicating that feat is highly unlikely. Even if this Warriors team wins more titles and becomes the dominant team of this era, there will likely be a lot of retooling and rebuilding of the roster. Being around the team and talking to some of the players this past weekend, you get the sense that they know this and understand the importance of seizing this moment and having fun while doing it. Interestingly enough, it's what is happening with the team off the court that is providing the fuel for their success on the court so far this season.
After the win over the Knicks on Friday evening, the Warriors wrapped their media obligations and Steph tuned on the DJ Suede remix of Fergie's national anthem. This is significant because last year Fergie sang the anthem at the all-star game, and her rendition was not received well, to say the least. Several players and fans in the arena were seen chuckling. The camera cut to Draymond Green and he couldn't hold it in and you see him smirking. Fergie's ex-husband Josh Duhamel, was on FS1 last week talking about the incident and said:
I thought he was kind of a prick. If he would have been a real man, he would have at least called her and said, 'Listen, I'm sorry that I caused all this.' That's what a real man would have done, in my opinion.
Steph is no dummy. Duhamel's comments made their way back to the Warriors, and while there is no direct evidence Curry and Draymond or the team discussed this beforehand, Curry knew what playing the song would do. Apparently once the song came on Draymond said, "lets dance to it." Because it never gets old, check out the Warriors and their next level troll game. Video courtesy of @CountonVic
The video has since gone viral and is the talk of this early NBA season. Before he came on the court for his warmup on Sunday against the Nets, I asked Steph about the video and he just started laughing and said, "Bro, you have no idea how hilarious that was." This is the Warriors at their best. Enjoying life off the floor, but letting that looseness and fun carry over on the floor, unlocking basketball nirvana.
During media availability following their win over the Nets, Steph spoke to BSO about what allows this team to have so much fun and why that is key to their success.
We are only about two and a half weeks into the season and the wins haven't been against the elite NBA teams, but these were often games the Warriors would sleepwalk through last year, and sometimes lose. It's not quite the ruthlessness of vanquishing all of their opponents on the way to an NBA record 73 wins in 2016, but if possible the start to this season is almost with less of a burden, even though immortality is at stake. It's almost as if the criticisms that they ruined the game by amassing so much talent has allowed them to play freer and better, and that's a scary proposition for the rest of the league. Nobody feels that more than KD, at least on the court. You can see his increased comfort level and in year three the ease he has on the with his teammates is palpable.
Following the Nets game, he talked to BSO about the comfort level, looseness, and the attitude and energy the team plays with. He talks about the core players all knowing one another and accepting each other for who they are. Something, that if you know anything about KD, is very important to him.
Nobody knows what the summer of 2019 holds for the Warriors, and trying to read tea leaves and body language, while fun, is a fool's errand. The Warriors know they want to be holding the Larry O'Brien trophy in June. Let the chips fall where they may after that. But this season and a potential run at a three-peat will be defined by the joy, cohesion, and fun that is the purest form of basketball and where this run began.
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