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Golden State Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry has been having a good summer so far.
Curry and the Warriors won their second consecutive NBA Finals in June after sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then, Curry and his wife welcomed their third child in July when the free agency period was just getting started, and shortly after Curry’s wife gave birth, Curry received a call from Warriors general manager Bob Myers, a call the two-time league MVP wasn’t expecting.
“I was in the hospital and I didn’t have my phone on me,” Curry told USA TODAY Sports. “My dad was there and Bob Myers called and wanted to congratulate me and the family on the new addition. And then he said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a potential opportunity to sign DeMarcus,’ and we all looked at each other like, ‘What are you talking about?’”
Myers was talking about DeMarcus Cousins, who had reached out to the Warriors expressing interest in joining their squad after not receiving any offers from teams during free agency. Myers and the Warriors were shocked when Cousins called them, but were obviously open to signing the talented All-Star center.
The Warriors’ recruitment of Cousins was led by forward Draymond Green, along with Myers and head coach Steve Kerr. Cousins also spoke with Kevin Durant.
Golden State signed Cousins to a one-year, $5.3 million deal, sending shockwaves throughout the league.
Curry was among those who was shocked.
“I don’t think (adding Cousins in free agency) was on anybody’s radar going into the summer,” Curry said. “(Myers) laid out how it happened with DeMarcus’ free agency, and the early stages and what-not, and he was like, ‘Hey if we can sign him would you like to play with him?’ And I said, ‘Obviously, hell yeah. That would be amazing.’”
Cousins, who is rehabbing a torn Achilles’ tendon, won’t be ready to suit up until later in the season. Before getting injured, Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds in 48 games with the New Orleans Pelicans while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from three.
“I like a motivated and driven DeMarcus coming back from this injury and helping us win another championship, so it’s going to be crazy and exciting,” Curry said. “I don’t really know how it’ll play out Xs and Os wise, but we have a lot of talented guys who know how to sacrifice, who know how to play the game at a high level, who have high IQs. He’ll transition just fine. At the end of the day, we’re about winning, so I don’t think anything will get in the way of that from a distraction standpoint.”
The biggest move that happened this offseason, though, was LeBron James leaving the Cavs and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year deal. Curry and James have met in the Finals four straight years, with Curry and the Warriors winning three out of the four matchups.
While Curry admits the rugged West will be even tougher now with the best player in the game switching conferences, the sharpshooter knows everything runs through the Warriors.
“LeBron is in a great market,” Curry said. “He’s in a great city, he’s around a great organization that has had a history of winning, he’s with Magic (Johnson). It’s interesting for him to make a move. There’s a lot that’s been made about the competition in the West and his eight straight Finals appearances and all that, but that just makes everybody raise the antenna up a little bit – including us. It’s going to be fun for fans. The West obviously got stronger with LeBron, but you’ve still got to beat us.”