Curry still processing Warriors coaching change

Curry still processing Warriors coaching change
May 29, 2014, 1:00 pm
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It's just tough. There's no sugarcoating it.
Stephen Curry

OAKLAND -- More than three weeks have passed since Warriors ownership fired Mark Jackson, yet the coach's abrupt dismissal continues to stir emotions among those who typically matter most in a basketball franchise.

That would be the players. And point guard Stephen Curry is at the top of the list.

Curry, who in 2014 became the first Warriors All-Star Game starter since 1995, still is digesting the change that resulted in the hiring of Steve Kerr to replace Jackson.

"He was a sign of stability for me," Curry said Thursday. "I had three coaches in three years and (Jackson) embodies what I know as good around here with the Warriors, winning and that kind of feel. It was a lot different in my first two years. I love Coach (Keith) Smart and Coach (Don) Nelson, but he embodied winning. And it's tough to see that end."

Curry was at the team facility to receive the 2013-14 Kia Community Assist Seasonlong Award for his charitable efforts locally and internationally. In essence, the award cites Curry as league's most benevolent player for the season.

Still, the look in Curry's eyes and his expressions spoke volumes, indicating that his coping mechanism is working overtime in the wake of the coaching change.

He implies he's not alone, that many of his teammates are slow to process the divorce between ownership and the man who coached them for three seasons. Jackson was dismissed on May 6, less than 72 hours after the Warriors lost Game 7 of their playoff series with the Clippers. Kerr was hired eight days later.

Asked if he had spoken to his teammates, Curry paused for a moment before saying he had talked to most of them.

"The feeling was how quick things happened after the season was kind of a shock," he said. "It took some time to respond and react. Obviously, they made a semi-quick hire. As the summer goes on and we remove ourselves from last year and look forward to next year, we'll be fine.

"It's just tough. There's no sugarcoating it. It was a weird, expedited situation that we didn't see coming. Guys are human and have got to adjust to it and (need) some time to respond. That's kind of what happened. I think we'll be fine once we have a clear picture of what's going on next year."

Curry said he has spoken several times with Kerr and expects more in-depth communication once Kerr's commitment to his job as a TNT TV analyst ends with the conclusion of the Western Conference finals.

Curry said he has had no substantive contact with CEO Joe Lacob -- who made the decision to dump Jackson -- since exit interviews were conducted prior to the coach being discharged.

Asked if he was as firm in his desire to remain with the Warriors for the duration of his career, as he has said numerous times in the past, Curry avoided a direct answer.

"The only thing I can say about this organization is we want to win," he said. "They try to figure out . . . each decision is geared toward winning. That's something that flies well with a lot of players, knowing they're going to try to put us in the best position to win. I had a certain opinions of Coach Jackson and they made a 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, this window to try to continue get better . . . I'm just looking forward to next year and getting back to making that happen. I haven't lost faith in that at all. As much as I supported Coach Jackson and love him, everything about him and playing for him, I think they're about winning."

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