With about a minute left in the Golden State Warriors‘ 126-117 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals, Steph Curry did his “night night” gesture in front of the Dallas Mavericks’ bench after putting the game away for good.
Some Dallas players have not let the gesture go unnoticed. In Game 2, the entire Mavs bench was standing and watching up close as Curry said “night night” to the Mavs.
“I’m taking notes because I might gotta use that one,” Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith said, according to a May 22 tweet from ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
As Finney-Smith said, don’t be surprised if some Mavericks players make the same gesture if they get a chance to close out one of their upcoming games. The Mavericks have been fined three times by the NBA for its “team bench decorum,” with the most recent penalty of $100,000 being handed down on May 22. According to NBA.com, “The fines have been for players and coaches standing for extended periods, straying too far from the bench and encroaching on the court during game action.”
Finney-Smith acknowledged he was pretty heated when Curry made his latest “night night” gesture.
“For real, though,” he said, according to MacMahon. “In the heat of the moment, I was mad, but it’s part of the game. It’s Steph. At least he had to watch it go in. He ain’t turn around.”
Curry: ‘I Have No Idea’
Sunday’s gesture wasn’t the first of the playoffs. All throughout the postseason, Curry has been using this gesture after scoring a bucket to putting a game out of reach. He did it in Game 3 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs after making a layup with under a minute left to seal a 118-113 win.
“I have no idea. I don’t choreograph none of that stuff,” Curry told reporters after the Warriors’ win in Game 2. “I was just having fun. You talk about having kids. You know how bedtime routines are important. It’s the final signal for a job well done that day. Pretty special.”
Curry claimed to be oblivious to the fact that he made the gesture right in front of the Mavericks’ bench.
“I was looking at the ball and then looking at the rim, so I was talking to myself,” Curry said. “I don’t know who heard it, but it’s a good way to finish the game and we got to take that to Game 3.”
Warriors Steve Kerr Reacts to Curry’s Gesture
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about his star player’s gesture on a video conference call on May 21, and he did not seem to have too much of a problem with it.
“I don’t mind it all,” Kerr said. “And I think what’s notable is that I don’t think we’ve run into any opponents who seem to mind it. I think Steph, the way he carries himself, the way he handles being on the other end of that kind of stuff, he realizes that it’s all part of the game and players are going to trash talk during the game, they are going to have their theatrics.”
Curry has been well-known to be one of the humblest superstars in the NBA, a league far more liberal when it comes to player showboating than its counterparts, the NFL and MLB.
“He enjoys that part of the show,” Kerr said. “But there’s a humility to Steph that people and fellow players around the league also recognize. So I think they respect him, and that’s why he gets away with it, whereas some guys may not.”