OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry follows every little thing about his hometown of Charlotte. Last week was hard to watch from way out West.
He is all for residents back home expressing themselves and their disappointment and heartbreak in the death of a black man at the hands of police. Curry just hopes they can keep finding positive ways to influence change, without violence.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP and Golden State star is just as devastated after the death of Keith Lamont Scott — and took to Twitter last week to say, “We deserve better than this.”
“You don’t ever want it to be violent. The first day in Charlotte it turned that way,” Curry said Monday. “That’s tough to see, especially growing up in that city. I know that’s not what we’re about, who we are as Charlotteans. You never want to be in that negative spotlight. As it went forward, everything was very constructive and productive.
“I think it made a huge turn for the greater good of taking a stand and doing what you can to make your voice be heard. I pray for Keith Lamont Scott’s family, the officer’s family, there are plenty of people that are going through some very tough situations but also just for the people of the city to understand that they can use their voice and they should do that, but violence is never going to solve anything.”
As the Warriors gathered for media day and Kevin Durant pulled on his new white No. 35 jersey and posed for playful photos with Curry, Golden State’s players took time to express support for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has refused to stand for the national anthem, citing racial injustice and police brutality.
“Very proud of him,” Durant said.
“I think it’s important to speak out because we’re human,” Draymond Green said. “There are a lot of changes that need to be made. It’s not just the killing of black people — that’s obviously rough and crazy to me — there are a lot of changes that need to be made in this country.”
Curry, All-Stars and Rio Olympics gold medalists Durant, Green and Klay Thompson all plan to stand for the anthem beginning with Saturday’s preseason opener against Toronto in Vancouver. They appreciate Kaepernick starting an important conversation and putting it on the national conscious.
“What Colin’s doing it’s amazing because he’s backing up what he’s representing,” Thompson said. “He’s not just going off and seeking the spotlight or looking for attention, he’s really trying to make a change. It’s very honorable.”
The new-look Warriors don’t expect to be in sync from the start when practice begins Tuesday. Not with so many new faces, so many stars trying to share one basketball.
But they are determined to build off the experience of squandering a 3-1 Finals lead and falling short in Game 7 to LeBron James and Cleveland in June, missing out on a repeat championship.
“The hope is we’re going to look our worst on Tuesday,” general manager Bob Myers said. “If you’re watching practice, I hope that it’s the worst it is, and if you come to a playoff game, you’re seeing an entirely different product.”
Golden State set records with a 24-0 start last season and a 73-9 finish. Nobody is thinking about that, either.
Green is ready to move forward from a summer that included a special run in Rio but also questions about accidentally posting a graphic crotch shot on his Snapchat account, saying Monday he is a better man now and has “definitely grown up a lot going into this season.”
He knows the Warriors will have to be patient when workouts begin.
“Everything isn’t going to be great from Day 1. I’d be shocked it was,” Green said. “To be quite frank with you, I don’t even want to win 74, 75 games. That’s brutal.”