I wasn’t able to attend Stephen Curry’s press conference today, although I caught the formal presentation of his KIA Community Assist Award on Warriors.com. It’s an honor Curry absolutely deserves, as he’s one of those rare professional athletes (or people, for that matter) who seems to do the right thing at all times.
At this point, Curry might start to expect the Warriors to do right by him. And the front office’s decision to fire Mark Jackson — a coach Curry repeatedly said he loved to play for — clearly stung.
Curry said all the right things in his post-award media session about playing hard for Kerr, although he did throw in a remark about it being a “semi-quick hire.” But it was the response (or non-response) to the following question that showed Curry is anything but blindly loyal to a franchise that completely ignored his preference to keep Jackson, the coach who was at the helm for the first winning seasons of Curry’s professional career.
Via Tim Kawakami, who posted the full Q&A:
-Q: You’ve mentioned many times over the last year that you want to be with this team over the long-term and you were counting down the days until you could sign your next extension here. Do you still feel that way about this organization? Do you still want to be here the rest of your career?
-CURRY: One thing I can say about this organization, they want to win. And they’re trying to figure out… each decision I think is geared towards winning. That’s something that flies well with a lot of players, they’re trying to put us in the best position to win.
Obviously I had a certain opinion of Coach Jackson that they made decision otherwise, and I heard the reasons. I won’t dwell on it, but as long as we’re focused on winning and taking advantage of the roster we have and the opportunity we have with this window to try to continue to get better, just looking forward to next year and making that happen.
I haven’t lost faith in that at all. As much as I supported Coach Jackson and loved everything about it when it came to playing for him, I think they’re about winning.
Sure, Curry said he hasn’t lost faith in the team’s desire to put a winning product on the court. But I’ve seen him answer many questions, and I can’t remember a time when he completely avoided answering a question like he did today when asked if he wanted to remain in Golden State for the rest of his career.
That doesn’t mean Curry is going to request a trade or anything of that nature, but it’s clear that something was fractured here. The Warriors can’t let their best player hold them hostage, and even a disgruntled Curry is going to cause less trouble behind the scenes than just about any other superstar. But the Warriors are going to need to monitor this situation closely, because it’s far more difficult to find and keep franchise-type talents than it is to sign a head coach who gets along with the owner.