Chris Paul and the Rockets say the reports of Stephen Curry being kicked off the Toyota Center court before Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals have been overblown, but Curry’s reaction seems to indicate there was more to it than the Houston side is letting on.
Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reports that Warriors team manager Eric Housen booked some time from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Toyota Center court prior to Game 4 so Curry could work on his shot. When Paul found out about the practice session, he supposedly showed up and gave Curry the boot so he could work on his own shot — even after Curry offered to stick to one half of the court.
Paul and others with the Rockets have disputed that Curry was kicked off the court. Houston developmental coach Irv Roland told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle on Saturday that there were no issues and that Paul and Curry even joked with one another.
“When we finally went out there, Stephen cracked a joked with Chris. Chris said ‘let him shoot.’ It wasn’t like it was a confrontation. ‘Let him shoot. Let him finish what he’s doing,’” Roland recalled. “We didn’t kick him off the court. We didn’t even say anything. I wanted to know how long he was shooting because I had Chris with Michael Frazier and James Harden coming right after Chris. I wanted to know how long he was going to be before James left the house.”
It certainly would not be a surprise if the media blew the story out of proportion, but how do you explain Curry’s reaction after the Warriors closed on the series with a win in Game 6 Friday night? As he made his way to the locker room following his 33-point explosion in the second half, Curry triumphantly said, “Kick me off the court again, boy!” Draymond Green got in on the fun by shouting, “Kick him off! Kick him off!”
The feeling around this Warriors team right now is almost like they just won a title. They were up against it, & they knew it. One of the best wins of their entire run. pic.twitter.com/z61lwq1BTB
— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) May 11, 2019
There were more than a few heated moments during the series between Golden State and Houston, so perhaps Curry used whatever incident took place before Game 4 as motivation. Even if the situation did unfold the way the Rockets claim, Curry clearly held onto it.