by Alex Poletti
At the end of the six-game series against the Toronto Raptors, it seemed that Steph Curry and Draymond Green were the only Golden State players left standing. After the remainder of their All-Stars got injured, the Warriors just couldn’t hang with Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors. To show solidarity with their teammates, both Curry and Green have elected to injure themselves.
“When people see the Warriors, they see a lot of stars,” Curry says. “But really, that’s not what this team is about. We are a team first, players second. That’s why it was so important for us to stand with our teammates and intentionally injure ourselves.”
To support Kevin Durant, Draymond Green tore both of his Achilles tendons, meaning he will likely be out for the 2019-2020 season. Steph Curry, on the other hand, sided with longtime teammate Klay Thompson by tearing his ACL.
“We’re taking a stand,” Green says. “Although we’ll mostly be sitting after this.”
While the average joe may interpret this as a harmless show of support, keen basketball fans may see something more. With Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both entering free agency, the displays by Curry and Green could be the first sales pitch for the Warriors.
“It means a lot to see them purposefully inflict harm upon themselves to limit their basketball abilities,” Thompson says. “It just shows the humility these guys have. I’m proud to call them my teammates.”
Thompson may be easily swayed, but Durant will be a little harder to convince. Despite a disastrous Achilles tear, witnesses saw the two-time Finals MVP crawling his way to the airport to catch his flight to New York.
As with many decisions with the powerhouse Warriors, Curry and Green’s actions have drawn ire from critics and other teams. Some say that Green went overboard by tearing both of his Achilles, turning a thoughtful injury into a vanity project. One man who stands with the Warriors stars, however, is head coach Steve Kerr.
“These are the kind of guys Steph and Draymond are,” Kerr says. “They go the extra mile. They show us that as a team, we go together. Sometimes that means winning a championship. Sometimes it means contorting your hips in an unnatural way while making a hard stop on the court to produce an ACL sprain. It’s all part of basketball.”
Even if the Warriors can retain Durant and Thompson, they face another risk, as the core four would all be injured for the entirety of next season. On this matter, Las Vegas bookies have already started doing their homework.
“If all four of the main starters are injured,” basketball analyst Robin Verducci says, “then it’s probably Raptors in five next year instead of six.”