The Golden State Warriors lost point guard Steph Curry to an injury Wednesday night and it is unclear if, or when, the Dubs’ MVP candidate will be able to return to the floor.
The play in question occurred with just over four minutes to play in the second quarter during a March 16 home game against the Boston Celtics. Curry reached for a loose ball at the same time that Celtics guard Marcus Smart dove for possession. Smart slammed into Curry’s knee, grabbed the rock and Boston began pushing play the other way. Curry hopped up in an attempt to pursue but was visibly limping.
Warriors on NBCS tweeted the video of the incident Wednesday night.
The referees reviewed the play and ultimately hit Smart with a Flagrant 1 foul. Curry left the game following the collision and did not return. Dubs head coach Steve Kerr confirmed during the postgame press conference that Curry underwent an MRI on his injured left foot.
In the immediate aftermath of Curry’s injury, Kerr could be seen on the sideline engaged in a heated back and forth with Smart.
“I thought it was a dangerous play. I thought that Marcus dove into Steph’s knee. and that’s what I was upset about,” Kerr explained. “A lot of respect for Marcus. He’s a hell of a player, a gamer, a competitor. I coached him in the World Cup a few summers ago. We talked after the game. We’re good, but I thought it was a dangerous play and just let him know.”
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Warriors Players React to Smart’s Play, Potential Loss of Curry
Several Warriors players took to the podium to address the play in the wake of their 110-88 loss to the Celtics, which snapped a four-game winning streak.
“I don’t think it was a dirty play,” said Juan Toscano-Anderson, who much like Smart makes his bones in the NBA playing hard-nosed defense. “Could’ve probably been a bit more cautious. But when you play that hard and all you know is to do that … it’s kind of like me diving over the scoreboard for the ball.”
Dubs forward Draymond Green, who recently returned after 30 consecutive games on the sideline due to a back injury, also went to bat for Smart.
“I can’t call that a dirty play,” Green said.
Another thing Green couldn’t do during his postgame interview was provide any insight into how injured Curry was on the play or when the Warriors might expect him back. Green did speculate that his teammate would probably watch the Dubs’ next game, a Sunday afternoon outing against the San Antonio Spurs, from the sidelines.
“Somebody leave the game limping, go get an MRI — I don’t expect him back Sunday,” Green said. “It sucks, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumble, and you’ve gotta figure it out and deal with it. But boy … it’s rough.”
Green’s is a sentiment Warriors fans understand well. Klay Thompson missed more than two and a half years with an ACL tear followed by an achilles tendon he ruptured months later during rehabilitation. Thompson returned January 9, the game in which Green bowed out after less than one minute played due to his back injury. Green returned two nights ago against the Washington Wizards after more than two months on the sideline, only to see Curry go down with injury just two days later.
Celtics React to Kerr’s Comments, Curry’s Injury
Smart, too, spoke with the media after the game, extending his regrets for injuring Curry but maintaining the incident was merely an accident.
“I hope Steph’s alright,” Smart told reporters. “I didn’t even see him. I just saw the ball, dove on the ball, tried to make a play. Unfortunately that occurred. I’m really down right now about it.”
Smart also addressed accusations of dirty play on his part, which originated mostly from social media users in the aftermath of Wednesday night’s events.
“I could really care less about that,” Smart said. “I know who I am. My teammates, my colleagues, they know I’m not a dirty player. They know I’m going to go out there and leave everything out there on the floor for my team and I’m going to hustle.”
The Celtics guard also spoke to the interaction between himself and Kerr on the court during the middle of the second quarter.
“We’re all human,” Smart said. “He has emotions just like I have emotions and vice versa. I think it’s OK. As long as the respect is there from both parties, it’s OK to talk.”
An update on Curry’s injury status is expected as early as Thursday.