Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images 2017
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At the beginning of the 2018-19 NBA regular season, the Golden State Warriors were huge favorites to win the NBA Finals and claim the franchise’s first three-peat and fourth Larry O’Brien Trophy in five years. In the offseason after winning their second championship in a row, they added another All-Star to their ranks in DeMarcus Cousins, which made them the first team in 40 years to be able to start five all-stars.
Since then, the team has gone on to have their most tumultuous season since Steve Kerr began coaching the team in the 2014. The team started out winning 12 of their first 14 games of the regular season, but then the drama started.
After Golden State’s fourteenth game of the season, an 121-116 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Warriors’ star forwards Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into a heated exchange in the locker room. Green was suspended by the team for two games for “conduct detrimental to the team” because of his part in the spat.
The team tried to minimize the exchange between Green and Durant, but they lost six of the ten games that followed the argument.
Even though there was a lot of speculation about the drama that Cousins might have brought to the Warriors, he’s actually been one of the less embattled of the team’s stars this season. Instead, Durant has had to contend with constant speculation of his free agency plans for the 2019 offseason. In February he criticized the media speculation, demanding that the press “let us play basketball.”
Steph Curry, the team’s leader, had his own reflection on his and his family’s relationship with the media this season – admitting that he wished he hadn’t brought his eldest child Riley Curry up to his press conference following the Western Conference finals in 2015.
But on the other end of the media gamut, shooting guard Klay Thompson continued his string of quirky interviews with the press. In an interview at the Warriors’ practice on March 7, days after the team’s 33-point home loss to the Boston Celtics, Kerr said that the team was getting the most press they have since he started coaching the team. To his point, there were two documentary crews at the practice, in addition to the beat writers and local television stations who normally cover the team.
“When I was with the Bulls, there was an incredible microscope,” Kerr said. “But this is times 100 because of social media and the amount of media outlets today.”
To add to the pressure of being the twice-reigning champ, it’s also the team’s last season in Oakland, where they began playing permanently in 1971. The team is moving to the Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2019-20 season.
“I think we’re all feeling a mixture of feelings. We’re excited about the Chase Center,” Kerr said at the March 7 practice. “But we’re all sad to leave Oakland, we’re sad to leave Oracle.”
But those aren’t the only big stories of the Warriors’ regular season. Check out the slideshow above to see Golden States’ other most prominent stories.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Warriors-Steph-Curry-Steve-Kerr-Kevin-Durant-Klay-13712681.php.