Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the 2017 NBA Finals. Secondly, have you ever felt the NBA has hidden things from the fans? Sure, many of us probably have. But are they truly hidden or just not brought to light? Let's focus on a more than popular professional basketball organization, the Bay Area's finest, the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors are not just any NBA team. During the past three years, they have dismantled the NBA tallying an astonishing 207-39 regular season record and pleasing the Oracle Arena fans with an 114-9 home record. With the supporting cast of All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, signifying this team as good is an understatement, this team is great.
This article will focus on many of the hidden facts we as fans fail to see while watching the game. This list is compiled amongst the members of the Golden State Warriors, let's get to it!
21 Stephen Curry's real name is Wardell
Wardell Curry for three! Doesn't really fit, does it? Well, that's the birth name of the Golden State Warriors guard, Wardell Stephen Curry II. The two-time MVP's name originates from his father Wardell Stephen "Dell" Curry I, the Charlotte Hornets all-time leading scorer. While the name is fairly uncommon to many of us, many of Steph's close friends still refer to him as his birth name, Wardell.
Stephen Curry shares more than just a name with his father. Like his dad, Steph fortifies his game on 3-point shooting. While Dell Curry shot a 40.2% career 3-point percentage, good enough for 10th all-time, Stephen Curry is currently shooting an ungodly NBA career record 43% from downtown. Like father, like son at its finest.
20 Stephen Curry has to give his Mother $100 for each turnover.
This bet took place during the 2015-2016 NBA season. The bet stated that after three turnovers, each turnover will cost him $100.00. The bet was made with his Mother, Sonya Curry, the recipient of the winnings.
Curry committed 74 turnovers during the 2015-16 season in conjunction with the bet resulting in a nice $7,400 payment to his Mother. During the 2015-16 playoffs, Curry committed 23 more turnovers amongst the betting rules resulting in an additional $2,300. Bringing the grand total to $9,700, Curry's Mother stated she used the money on designer clothing and accessories.
Even though Mom may have cashed out with $9,700, it appears as though her Son is the last one laughing. After all, Curry did receive his second consecutive league MVP, this time becoming the first ever unanimous winner in league history.
19 Klay Thompson and Kevin Love were childhood friends.
Klay Thompson and Kevin Love grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon together. The two all-stars played on the same little league baseball team, the Los Oswego Lakers in 2001. Love was often titled as a phenom, he was the team's big arm pitcher. Thompson was a quick leadoff hitter and more of an all-around player. Sadly the two players were unable to form a dynamic duo on the court in high school as Thompson moved to Ladera Ranch, California and Love remained in Lake Oswego.
Ironically, the two players were nearly traded for each other in 2014 when Kevin Love was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love wanted to part ways with the Timberwolves and the Warriors were extremely interested. The Timberwolves were in return demanding a young player that was still developing. That player was shooting guard Klay Thompson. Nonetheless, the deal was never made, Love was eventually traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Klay Thompson signed a maximum contract to remain with the Golden State Warriors.
They have since been involved together as opponents in one of the most heated NBA rivalries in today's game. Having been opponents in three consecutive NBA Finals, the childhood friends are the biggest of enemies on the court.
18 Stephen Curry could have been a professional golfer
What are the odds one of the greatest shooters on the planet with a basketball is also a dangerous shooter with a club? Meet none other than Stephen Curry. Easily addressed as the best golfer in the NBA, many believe Curry could have had a successful golf career if basketball never worked out. Curry has spoken out about the possibility of playing on the PGA Tour once his basketball career is over.
Stephen Curry has shot a 70 at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links and even shot a 76 at the Farm Neck Golf Club in front of former President Barrack Obama. Curry may play for the Warriors but he's more than just a weekend warrior on the golf course!
17 The Golden State Warriors feature three of the best scorers in the NBA
Want to talk about firepower? The Golden State Warriors are certainly not lacking in this department. With the addition of Kevin Durant, this team can score relentlessly. Durant ranks 1st amongst active players in career points per game with 27.2, Stephen Curry ranks fifth with 22.8 points per game and Klay Thompson sits respectfully at 16th with 19.08 points per game. Totaling roughly 69 points from three teammates on an average night, it's no secret why the Warriors finished the 2017 season ranked 1st in points per game with 116.3.
Throughout the 2017 season alone Durant, Curry, and Thompson were all able to average at least 22 points per game. Curry provided a team-best 25.3 ppg, Durant bolstered 25.1 ppg despite missing 20 game due to injury and Thompson rounded out with 22.3 ppg.
We've seen a complete year from this polarizing team and they hit the ground running. In the first year of these three players operating as teammates, they won the NBA championship and completely dismantled the league in every facet. The sky is truly the limit for this team if these players remain within the same organization.
16 Stephen Curry is the fourth highest paid player on the Warriors roster.
Curry's placement on this list seems more realistic if it were generated from the entire league rather than based solely on the Golden State Warriors roster. The two-time league MVP commands a $12,112,359 salary in 2017 in the final year of his four-year/$44,000,000 contract. Curry is currently the 77th highest paid player in the NBA. This contract from one of the best players on the planet is what allowed the Warriors to sign Kevin Durant during free agency.
Above Stephen Curry on the Warriors payroll for 2017 include: Kevin Durant $26,540,100, Klay Thompson $16,663,575, and Draymond Green $15,330,435.
Although Curry has stated he can't see himself playing for any team other than the Warriors, he will be a free agent prior to the 2018 season. Whether he chooses to return to the Bay Area or lace up for another team, Curry is in for a big payday.
15 Draymond Green can name all 34 players drafted ahead of him.
Not every day do you find an all-star caliber player in the second round of the NBA Draft. Since Draymond Green was drafted with the 35th overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, he has carried a massive chip on his shoulder ever since. He can even name all 34 players drafted before him. Despite being an exceptional college player at Michigan State University, most teams didn't see Green's game transitioning to the NBA and labeled him more as an overseas basketball career candidate.
Why did Green fall so far in the draft? Pre-draft analysis viewed Draymond as a nonathletic, overweight and undersized tweener. Meaning he was not athletic enough to play the wing and too small to play the forward. Also considering Green was 22 years old coming into the NBA, most scouts viewed him as a player that has already reached his ceiling. Aside from all the negatives scouts seen in Green, it is noted he was labeled positively as a player that can contribute across the board, stretch the floor and a fierce rebounder. Looks like they got something right. Stay humble Draymond!
14 Andre Iguodala has made over $110,000,000 during NBA career
To be exact the true total career earnings for the Warriors sixth man is $118,683,918. Seems like a lot of money for what is viewed as a role player. But Iguodala's time of cashing big checks goes back to his first home, the Philadelphia 76ers. After playing out his rookie contract, the 76ers and Iguodala agreed on a six-year/$80,000,000 contract in 2008. Then in 2012 a blockbuster four-team, twelve player trade resulted in Iguodala being traded to the Denver Nuggets. Finally finding his most recent home, in 2014 Iguodala was signed and traded to the Golden State Warriors on a four-year/$48,000,000 contract.For hindsight on Iguodala's contract with the Warriors, star point guard Stephen Curry made roughly $1,000,000 more in 2017.
It's also worth nothing that both Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala are free agents this summer. Considering the large payroll for the Golden State Warriors it looks unlikely they will both be retained for their respected asking prices. Though Iguodala is no longer viewed as a franchise player, he has shown he's worth his dollar amount. Most recently becoming the NBA Finals MVP in 2015 and playing a big role in the Warriors 2017 championship run.
12 Klay Thompson holds the single game playoff record for 3-pointers made
It was Game 6 of the 2016 NBA finals. The Golden State Warriors were facing elimination play on the Oklahoma City Thunder's home court. What happened? Klay Thompson pulled a rabbit out of the hat and forced Game 7. He dominated that night in from every angle, particularly from distance. Thompson broke the NBA playoff record for 3-pointers made with eleven. The previous record set and tied by Jason Terry, Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Rex Chapman was nine long balls.
Thompson was hot from deep, he shot 11-18 from downtown and finished the game with 41 points. The Warriors needed every shot from Thompson as he sunk five balls from deep in the fourth quarter and prevailed the Warriors past the Thunder to for a Game 7 at Oracle Arena.
It truly is no secret that Thompson can shoot the ball. In 2016 he finished the season with 276 shots made from 3-point land, good enough for the fourth most in a single season of all-time. That same year Thompson tied teammate Curry's NBA record (98) of 3-pointers made for a single season playoffs record. The dynamic duo of Curry and Thompson shows zero signs of letting down while continuing to smash the record books.
11 Golden State's death lineup features Five all-stars
Steve Kerr must feel overly confident every time he deploys the "death lineup." This very lineup features five All-Stars, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
The death lineup is designed to create mismatches on the offensive end with shooters at all positions and stand strong on defense with quick and versatile defenders. The lineup also features four players that averaged five assists in a season leading to the playmaking ability they share on the court.
While the death lineup was initially created during the 2014-15 season, it wasn't until the 2016-17 that it reached its full potentially. Particularly with the signing of the five-time all-NBA first team Kevin Durant.
10 The Warriors are the only team with two players whose fathers played in the NBA
If Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry don't already share enough similarities, their fathers were both productive NBA players as well.
Mychal Thompson, the father of Klay Thompson, was drafted with the 1st overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1978 NBA Draft. Mychal Thompson is a two-time NBA champion much like son Klay, winning titles during the 1987 and 1988 seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Mychal Thompson played 13 seasons in the NBA as a member of the Portland Trailblazers, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. He owns career totals of 12,810 points (13.7 ppg) 6,951 rebounds (7.4 rpg) and 1,073 blocks (1.1 bpg).
Dell Curry, the father of Stephen Curry, was drafted with the 15th overall pick of the 1986 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz. Unlike Mychal Thompon, Klay Thompson or his son Stephen, Dell was unable to win an NBA title during his playing career. Dell Curry played 16 seasons in the NBA as a member of the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks. Dell Curry owns career totals of 12,670 points (11.7 ppg) 2,617 rebounds (2.4 rpg) and 1,909 assists (1.8 apg).
Although neither of the fathers was inducted into the hall of fame, there is little doubt that the sons will have a hard time making it. Given the pace they're going in their respected careers.
9 Andre Iguodala and former Warriors coach Luke Walton were teammates
Back in 2002 at the University of Arizona rostered teammates freshman Andre Iguodala and All-American senior Luke Walton. Iguodala credits much of his success on the court to Walton, whom he emulated his game after. Often stating that Walton was never an athletic player but demonstrated to Iguodala that you can still be effective while lacking athleticism. Luke Walton averaged 10.8 ppg, 5.1 apg, and 5.6 rpg during his senior year. While Andre Iguodala averaged 6.4 ppg, 2.1 apg and 4.9 rpg his freshman year while coming off the bench. To emphasize what Iguodala learned from Walton would be broadcasted during his sophomore year after Walton entered the NBA Draft, averaging 12.9 ppg, 4.9 apg and 8.4 rpg.
While they were never unable to play together as teammates during their NBA careers, they have both experienced success in their careers. Walton was drafted 32nd overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2003 NBA Draft. Later winning two NBA titles with L.A. during the 2009 and 2010 NBA seasons. Iguodala was drafted ninth overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2004 NBA Draft. Also becoming a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors.
The couple would later be united again when Walton filled in the head coaching position for the Golden State Warriors while Steve Kerr was on medical leave. With Andre Iguodala embracing his sixth man role from his new coach and former teammate, the Warriors got off to an incredible 39-4 record before Walton returned to his assistant coaching position. In 2017 Luke Walton accepted the head coaching position for his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
8 Kevin Durant has a tattoo of Tupac
Although Durant's chest, stomach and back are covered in ink, he always stood against tattoos on the arms, neck, face and legs. Mainly anywhere that can't be covered up by a uniform. Surprisingly he received a giant tattoo on his left leg. The picture shown depicts a portrait image of the famous rapper Tupac Shakur, and it covers the entire bottom left leg of the 2014 MVP.
Also turns out Durant's left leg is shared by another musical artist, Rick James, whose portrait can be found on Durant's left thigh. Durant is a big fan of Tupac but also notes his favorite artist is Biggie Smalls. With some room for a new tattoo up for grabs, is it possibly the next addition to the latest trend?
7 Draymond Green caught cheating on a ninth grade Biology test
Mary Babers, Draymond's mother, has never been shy to express herself.
During the ninth grade, Draymond found himself sitting in Mr. Servinski's Biology class preparing for a test. Needing a good test score to pass the class, Draymond attempted to cheat by placing a study guide underneath the test and occasionally peeking at it. Well, you guessed it, Draymond got caught and failed the class! Unsurprisingly Draymond wouldn't tell his mother why he failed the class after she had found out. After she contacted Mr. Servinksi and found out on her own, all hell broke loose.
Mrs. Babers was livid and disciplined Draymond by not letting him attend Tom Izzo's Shooting camp or an AAU event in Las Vegas. But that wasn't all she did. She forced him to attend summer school, took his phone, PlayStation, and even his bed away. Draymond dedicated his success to his mother for opening his eyes. She proved to him that he still needs to be productive in life once the basketball stops bouncing. Eventually, Green was granted permission to attend the AAU event in Las Vegas after his mother made him receive permission from teachers, attempting to prove to him school comes first.
6 Scheduled for 30 national television appearances
This is a franchise record. After finishing the 2016 NBA season with an NBA record 73 wins and 9 losses, it only makes sense that the Warriors would see a rise in nationally televised games. Of the 30 games aired (two preseason games and 28 regular season games), five games were aired on ABC, 10 games aired on TNT and 15 games aired on ESPN.
Needless to say, the Warriors didn't disappoint in 2017, winning the fifth championship in the history of the franchise. They also pleased the fans with a season record of 67 wins and 15 losses on top of dominating the playoffs with a 16-1 record. Likely viewed as the most entertaining and most dominant team in the NBA, nationally televised games and viewing numbers should continue to rise.
5 Why rookie Patrick McCaw chose to wear Zero
Most players have a reason behind the jersey number they choose, but only some tell their story. Patrick McCaw, the former 38th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2016 NBA Draft was traded on draft night to the Golden State Warriors. During his college career at UNLV McCaw wore jersey number two but transitioned to number zero once entering the NBA. The transition was influenced by the confidence and swagger he carried into the NBA Draft, number zero. Zero because he has zero doubt and zero worries about his career playing basketball.
Warriors executive Jerry West expressed that McCaw had fallen much further in the draft than he should have which ultimately resulted in the Warriors acquiring him via trade. McCaw was a bright spot for Golden State over the course of his rookie year filling in for injured Kevin Durant. If he continues to develop the Warriors could be looking at another second round gem in McCaw similar to teammate Draymond Green.
4 Draymond Green commits a lot of flagrant fouls
Draymond Green plays with a lot of passion and energy which sometimes gets the best of him. It doesn't help his case that he's labeled as a dirty player and viewed as a villain in the NBA. Most recently in Game 4 of the finals, Draymond miraculously eluded yet another technical foul as he blatantly hit Cavaliers Iman Shumpert in the face following a jump ball. Thankfully for the Warriors, it was just a technical foul, something Draymond is very familiar with often finished in the top 5 each year in total technical fouls.
During the 2016 season was when the dirty player label began as Draymond went on a kicking rampage. During the 2016 Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Draymond collected a flagrant foul in both Games 2 and 3. Even at the biggest stage (the NBA finals) Draymond collected a flagrant foul in game 4 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, resulting in a one game suspension which ultimately sparked the Cavaliers for a historic finals victory. Despite the label of being a dirty player, Draymond leaves it all on the court and plays with a fire that is hard to come by.
3 Klay Thompson is one of the biggest Harry Potter fans
Klay Thompson is not only one of the best sharp-shooting, excellent defending 2-way players in the NBA. Being capable of scoring 37 points in a single quarter (an NBA record) Thompson has shown he has a few tricks up his sleeve on the court. He just so happens to be the biggest Harry Potter fan in the league too.
While making the trip to face the Orlando Magic in 2016, Thompson and former teammates Harrison Barnes and Leandro Barbosa found themselves heading to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter on their down time. While Barnes was a noted fan of the series as well, Barbosa didn't have any recollection as to what Harry Potter was. It's safe to say that the former teammates enjoyed themselves and spent the day off well.
2 Stephen Curry was the first ever unanimous league MVP
Stephen Curry was not only the 11th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP honors, he's also the first player to become the league's unanimous MVP winner. 2016 was a remarkable year for Curry NBA team and player records. The Warriors won 73 games as a team becoming the winningest single season team in NBA history. Curry rewrote the record books making 402 3-pointers, shattering his previous record of 286 he set in 2015, in a single season. Also becoming the seventh player ever to join the ungodly 50/40/90 club (50% field goal percentage, 40% 3-point percentage, 90% free throw percentage). Curry had season averages of 30.1 ppg, 2.1 spg (both career highs) 6.7 apg and 5.4 rpg. While the season accolades were nothing short of amazing Curry will forever be haunted by the most history meltdown in NBA finals history.
1 The historic 2015-16 Golden State Warriors
You may be wondering, why is LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers photo associated with this title? Well, they're the reason the 2016 Golden State Warriors probably won't go down in the history books as the greatest team ever.
If you're a sports fan and haven't heard about the Warriors meltdown, blowing an NBA finals 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, you may just be living underneath a rock. But what lies hidden beneath it all is that the Warriors won 73 games, the most winningest season in NBA history. This will be forever shadowed by not winning the NBA championship. Of the 5 greatest single season records in the NBA, every team except for the Warriors won the NBA championship. The 96' Bulls (72-10) defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 4-2, the 72' Lakers (69-13) defeated the New York Knicks 4-1, and the 67' 76ers (68-13) defeated the San Francisco Warriors 4-2. In fact, all of those teams never went to a Game 7.
Simply adding Kevin Durant to the team and redeeming themselves with a 2017 NBA championship, the 2016 season was a let down for the Warriors but their 73-9 record will probably never be broken. After all, LeBron James followed through on his promise to bring a championship to Cleveland and wasn't letting anything get in his way!