CLEVELAND - LeBron James has continued a friendship with the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, that began two years ago when the rookie was in college.
Curry, who was born in Akron, was the first-round draft choice of the Warriors this past summer and started last night against the Cavs.
With some of the things happening to the Warriors - the controversy surrounding Stephen Jackson and the ongoing speculation about coach Don Nelson’s status - James offered him some advice.
‘’I guess there was a little chaos on our team,’’ he said. ‘’He’s just making sure I was keeping my head straight, working hard and reminding me to get better everyday.’’
James said that he’s a fan of Curry’s game and that he sees in him the ability to continue to improve and Curry, the son of former Cavalier Dell Curry, didn’t arrive with the hype James, but because of what he accomplished at tiny Davidson College in North Carolina he came in with some notoriety and expectations - a couple of the reasons James reached out to him.
‘’I’m all about helping the guys that come after me. There are guys in the league and I’m all about giving advice,’’ he said. ’’ This league could be a lot on a kid coming in. It could be a lot on anybody. ‘’
Tuesday’s game marked the first time that the two squared off against one another on the court, however. Curry had a playful, yet serious answer when asked about that.
‘’Friends off the court once you’re on the court all that goes out the door,’’ he said. ‘’It’s going to be fun just to go out there and compete. I should be a good atmosphere, so I am looking forward to it.’’
Talk of Jackson The one face that went unseen was that of guard Stephen Jackson, who had figured prominently in trade rumors involving the Cavs. He eventually went to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. Warriors coach Don Nelson said that trading Jackson was better for everyone involved and he’s glad it was done sooner rather than later.
‘’It’s good for us because we can move on. I think the last thing you want to do is have an unhappy guy all the way to the trade deadline and being forced into doing something,’’ he said.
Jackson had become a malcontent in the Bay Area and the league fined him over the summer for publicly stating that he wanted to be traded to the Cavaliers. For the record, James said he was amenable to the idea because he’s a big fan of Jackson’s.
‘’I’m all for guys coming onto this team no matter who they are if they are going to be productive for our team and represent what we represent and that’s a winning mentality,’’ James said.
It is well known that Jackson would come with some baggage, but that wouldn’t have been a problem for James because he believes they have the right locker room to handle another out there personality.
‘’There’s big influences in here and we have a lot of guys who are always positive, who stay positive’’ he said, ‘’and at the same time we try to make people understand that it’s more than the game of basketball. Once you figure that out, the game of basketball becomes very easy.’’
Buzzer beaters: Forward Anderson Varejao was a late scratch for Tuesday’s game and probably will not play tonight against the Washington Wizards…Shaquille O’Neal sat again with a shoulder strain and it looks as if his situation won’t be re-evaluated until later this week.