Photo: Edward A. Ornelas, San Antonio Express-News
Image 1 20
It has long been reported that a number of NBA players have a “disdain” toward Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, and his teammate Andre Iguodala rekindled that conversation on Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview on the radio show, “The Breakfast Club.”
“You know where I see it the most, the hate on Steph? It’s across the league, the other players,” Iguodala said. “Some of the older players [hate] that he came in and took their shine … they hate it.”
Matt Barnes, who was briefly with the Warriors in 2017, discussed Iguodala’s comments on a Thursday episode of ESPN’s “The Jump” along with ESPN Warriors reporter Nick Friedell.
“He came in; he’s the golden boy,” Barnes said of Curry. “He came in and destroyed record books, won championships, beat LeBron; he’s done a lot of things that probably angered other players and other fans. That’s why I don’t think he gets the respect he deserves.”
In addition to a meteoric rise and taking down LeBron James, Barnes said Curry’s skin tone plays a role in the resentment directed at him.
“He’s obviously the greatest shooter to ever play the game, and I can see people being bitter from that,” Barnes said. “Not to mention the whole light-skinned thing, and people have problems with that. Like I said, he’s a perfect example of what the NBA needs to be represented as and people don’t like that either.
“Most of the time, when people are so good or something’s so perfect, people don’t like that and that’s exactly what you get with Steph.”
Friedell also believes that there’s widespread resentment of Curry around the league, but for a different reason.
“I’ve seen it,” Friedell said of other players resenting Curry. “When you talk to people about Steph, there’s this resentment, because he changed the game. … A lot of guys came into the league thinking, ‘I’m going to grind, I’m going to play defense, I’m going to play the way I saw growing up,’ and Steph has shown that there’s a whole different style to the game, and when you play that game, you need different pieces to fit around you.”
According to Friedell, Curry’s success has led to the proliferation of the three-point shot and a league-wide shift toward small-ball, two monumental changes that have left a lot of players behind.
“He has made a lot of guys have to change their own game, or they have sort of slid out of the league from the way it used to be,” he said.
In 2017, the Athletic’s Marcus Thompson reported that a number of prominent NBA players, including LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, have a “disdain” toward Curry.
Thompson said James and Curry used to be close, but their relationship soured after facing each other in the NBA Finals.
Of Westbrook, Thompson said, “I think out of all of them, if somebody doesn’t like Steph Curry, I think it’s probably Westbrook. He just shows no sign of — this really ain’t about Steph. It’s bigger. His seems to be, ‘I don’t like that dude.'”
Thompson also reported that Curry himself doesn’t understand why some players resent him.
Start receiving breaking news emails on floods, wildfires, civil emergencies, riots, national breaking news, Amber Alerts, weather emergencies, and other critical events with the SFGATE breaking news email. Click here to make sure you get the news.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Steph-Curry-NBA-players-resent-hate-Matt-Barnes-14057314.php.