After taking home the NBA Championship last season, the Golden State Warriors have failed to live up to expectations this season. In fact, this year could be viewed as a massive failure for the reigning champions, as they are currently struggling to maintain their place in the playoff race.
The Warriors have hovered around the .500 mark all season, and the mix of veterans and youngsters hasn’t panned out the way the team wanted heading into the season. And according to Matt Steinmetz of 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny & Guru,” Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are causing a rift between themselves and the team’s younger players.
“But we’ve gotten to the point where it’s like, Steph, Draymond, and Klay Thompson, like, they’ve become hard to play with,” Steinmetz said. “It’s hard to play with them, because they’re so demanding. And they’re so, I’ll say it, judgmental. And you know what they also have been? They’ve been exclusive this year. That’s what their championship veterans have been. They have been exclusive. They have not included the young players like great leaders would. They put up a line between themselves and the young players, as opposed to acknowledging their young players and trying to help them. Instead, it feels like they are saying, ‘We can’t play with these guys. You want us to play with these guys? You can not win.’”
At the start of the season, the Warriors were attempting to win in the moment while also planning for the future. That plan didn’t work out, as James Wiseman was traded at the deadline, and Moses Moody hasn’t earned consistent playing time. Jonathan Kuminga managed to crack the rotation, but the team even went as far as bringing Gary Payton II back. The young-old mix just didn’t work out.
Stephen Curry Sounds Off After Warriors Loss
While the Warriors veterans themselves haven’t openly expressed these thoughts, it’s clear that they are fed up with losing. After a recent Warriors loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Curry expressed the importance of playing hard regardless of who is on the court.
“The fact that we are not in a safe enough spot to do that,” Curry said during a postgame interview on March 7, via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “You just got to look at the standings and keep it real. We have some tough opponents coming up, so [it’s] just a matter of, what we did on the road while me and Wiggs and GP [Gary Payton II] are out. I mean, they won five games in a row. Because you can rally around being short-handed, and the guys played amazing. When we come back on the road, those same principles apply because it’s way harder to do it away from Chase [Center], and we obviously haven’t shown that we can do that. And like I said, we’re not in a safe spot in terms of the standings or where we’re at, or just the vibe around how we’re playing. So, we got to keep repeating that until you’re blue in the face until you actually do it.”
Klay Thompson Still Confident in Warriors
Despite their struggles this season, Klay Thompson recently stated that he’s still confident in the Warriors’ ability to compete come playoff time.
“Our confidence is very high. I think I’ve stated this before, I’m never going to doubt this group or this franchise,” Thompson said in a March 5 interview via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We still have a lot of basketball left and we can put ourselves in a great position to finish the year the way we want to.”