NBA

Extremely proud of three special years - Curry discusses Durant's exit for first time

By Sports Desk July 12, 2019

Stephen Curry explained he is "extremely proud" of three "special years" playing alongside Kevin Durant, as he discussed his former team-mate's free agency departure for the first time.

Durant opted out of his player option with the Golden State Warriors to join the Brooklyn Nets, having helped the team reach three straight NBA Finals, winning two.

Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins have also left the Warriors, while Klay Thompson will miss most of next season with a torn ACL.

Curry's team are consequently not the favourites to win the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the first time in the last half-decade, but he made it clear the demands the squad place on themselves will not change.

"The three years we had were special," Curry told reporters at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament about Durant, who reportedly opted to join the Nets while Curry was travelling from China to meet him.

"We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group. 

"Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn't mean you can put it all together. I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to recreate that.

"There are a lot of changes, but the expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won't change. I'm excited about it."

The Warriors managed to land D'Angelo Russell from the Nets as part of a sign-and-trade agreement involving Durant, and Curry is optimistic about the new arrival, even if he may not stay with the Warriors long term once Thompson is fully fit.

"I haven't had much personal interaction with him," added Curry. "Back when he got drafted, there were some comparisons of our games. He can handle the ball, shoot, pass. 

"Having versatile guys like that can only help our team. The chemistry will develop quickly. It's about encouraging each other and having confidence we'll get the most out of each other."

Curry, 31, added: "I'm the oldest on the team now, so I've got to step my game up. 

"It's a tough business. You knew at some point there would be some hard changes. You talk about Andre and Shaun, they're two guys who do things the right way. They have the ultimate level of professionalism, a respect for what they say and do. 

"They're both three-time champs, and I think they have a lot left in the tank. It'll be fun and weird to watch them on different teams."

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    The 10-time All-Star has a career scoring average of 24.0 points per game and averaged more than 20 points for his first 14 seasons in the league. His already questionable efficiency has dropped in recent years, but plenty of teams need firepower from their reserves.

    Everybody shipped Anthony to the Los Angeles Lakers after he was released by the Bulls. But that did not pan out. Nevertheless, it is not crazy to think a team will take a chance on signing a consistent double-digit scorer for the league minimum.

    Thabo Sefolosha

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    The three-and-D wing has length at 6-7 and can pester opposing teams on the ball or off it. He shot 43.6 per cent from beyond the arc with the Utah Jazz last season. However, his durability could be looked at as a major concern, as he has played more than 70 games just five times in his 13-year career.

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  • Rockets' James Harden on reported feud with Chris Paul: 'It was a lot of false talk' Rockets' James Harden on reported feud with Chris Paul: 'It was a lot of false talk'

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    The Rockets lost out in six games to the Golden State Warriors in the second round of the playoffs last season, having gone 53-29 to claim the fourth seed in the West.

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