The Golden State Warriors have fallen short of the expectations of many this season. They’ve hovered around .500 for most of the season, but have recently strung together a three-game winning streak to bring them up to fifth place in the West.
They beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-120 on January 30 to pick up a rare road victory. The Dubs had won their most recent road game, topping the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 20.
The headline from that game was not the win, but rather the absence of four of Golden State’s five starters. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins all missed that game, essentially for load management purposes.
Curry spoke to the media on Monday in Oklahoma City, to discuss load management around the association.
“I usually campaign to play every game,” he said via NBC Sports Bay Area. “That’s the misconception about load management and how it goes. It’s never the player that is usually saying, ‘Hey, I want to sit.’
The four-time NBA Champion stressed that the players are not the ones behind load management.
“So, for all those people that are worried about that part of our league, it’s usually not the player that is going to the training staff and saying, ‘Hey, I don’t have it tonight.’ It’s usually the other way around. There’s a lot of science involved.”
Cavaliers Fans Bash Warriors’ Stephen Curry
Curry and his teammates had been heavily criticized after sitting out the game in Cleveland. News broke of the quartet being sidelined earlier in the day, way before tip off.
That left fans with plenty of time to prepare for their absence. One Cavaliers fan did so by making a sign that read, “Traveled 809 miles to take my son to see (Curry) sit on the bench.”
FanDuel social media personality Gabb Goudy posted a picture of the sign to Twitter, and it quickly gained traction.
Fans in Cleveland definitely had reason to be upset. With the Dubs and Cavs being in separate conferences, they only square off twice a season, once in San Francisco and once in Cleveland. Those fans only have the chance to see Golden State’s stars once a year, and missed the chance due to load management.
Warriors’ Steve Kerr Sounds Off on Load Management
Following the team’s win in Cleveland, Head Coach Steve Kerr spoke about load management, and the effect it has on fans. He called it a “brutal part of the business.”
“I feel terrible for fans who buy tickets expecting to see someone play and they don’t get to see that person play. It’s a brutal part of the business,” Kerr told Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “It’s why I’m going to continue to advocate for 72-game seasons. I know that means less revenue. But at some point, I think there needs to be an awareness from everybody involved – the league, players, coaches, performance staff. Let’s be really smart. Let’s take care of these guys and play fewer games and the overall quality of the game will be better, and if that’s the case revenue is going to go up anyway.”