When Steph Curry left Monday’s game against the Pelicans, it was news. And when the team announced that yesterday’s MRI revealed that it was a sprained ankle, it was news. As was the notion that he’d miss a minimum of two weeks and potentially longer. That was news, too. Notice I’m not saying it’s good news or it’s bad news, it’s just news.
Any other team and any other organization loses their 2-time MVP for an undetermined amount of time and it’s the worst news ever. They’re going total freakout and starting to scramble to figure out just how many games their star might miss and what that’ll mean for the playoff race. The media will overreact to every single loss and a full-blown meltdown starts. And even worse if the injury is one that had been an issue years ago and has since gone away.
But not the Warriors.
Golden State GM Bob Myers isn’t going to panic. In fact, Bob Myers went Bob Myers with it. He told ESPN.com: “Of course I’m curious. I’m always curious. I was curious when Kevin [Durant] went down [last season]. But I’ve seen what our team looks like without Kevin. This will be new.”
Like not only is this not the end of the world, but it’s a grand experiment. And this isn’t bluffing. This isn’t some fake bravado that a coach or a GM spins after a loss, that ultimately, they’ll be better for this. That losing to their rival or getting humiliated in a must-win game is a minor setback for a major comeback.
This is legit. I genuinely believe that Bob Myers is curious to see how this goes without Curry for a few weeks. Of course, you can do that when you have not one, but two MVP candidates on your roster. And a Defensive Player of the Year. And one of the greatest shooters in the league. And an NBA Finals MVP. And…the list goes on. This is the luxury that the Warriors have and that they’ve built.
And it means that they don’t have to rush Curry back at all. Even if they lose every game that he’s out, which they won’t, they aren’t going to panic and nor should they. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be buffoons who, if Golden State loses a game or two without Curry, will start talking about what this means for a repeat. Or whether it means that Curry is more valuable than Durant. Let me pre-emptively say this about that: don’t. Don’t do it. Whatever scorching angle that you’re already developing and planning to unleash if the Warriors drop a game, don’t. You’ll just make yourself look stupid in the long run.
Instead, take the Bob Myers approach. Don’t be raging, be curious. Be curious about what Golden State would look like without Curry. What would they look like with Durant as the focus? What does that do to their rotation? To their offense? Who else steps up? Or do some guys take a step back?
Don’t get me wrong. It was terrible seeing a transcendent player like Curry limping to the locker room and then leaving the arena on crutches. Just like it was no fun seeing him at Davidson’s game last night in a walking boot. So this isn’t to celebrate that. It’s just to take the Warriors approach and use it as a learning experience instead of a panic experience.
Don’t trip. Don’t freak. And don’t spew your molten lava. Don’t bring it around here.