There’s nothing NBA fans thirsty for a non-stop news cycle love more than to drum up drama on their own. One player has owned that spotlight more than any other this season.
After a game against the Bucks, Steph Curry was seen dapping up Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the camera on the Warriors’ injured point guard’s face, you can clearly tell he mouthed the words “Come on, man. Let’s do this.” Then, almost comically, he daps up the Bucks’ next-best player, Khris Middleton.
Stephen Curry to Giannis Antetokounmpo: “Let’s do it. C’mon man.”— Kevin Gray Jr. (@CTSportsRadio) January 9, 2020
Giannis will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021...should he join the Warriors? #DubNation #FearTheDeer #NBATwitter pic.twitter.com/c9fBtgVoCx
The whole scene was hilarious for Curry, who, since the whole Kevin Durant superteam, has been memed talking to several other superstars in an assumed effort to recruit them to Golden State. Remember, there were callbacks to Durant and Curry talking and hugging after the Warriors knocked out the Thunder in the 2016 conference finals. And we all know what happened next.
Are NBA fans totally nuts for believing players would talk to each other in public with cameras everywhere about their future free agency plans? Absolutely. Players (probably) don’t do this. In fact, Curry has already told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes that his conversation with Giannis is about playing a game called PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) together.
But then, there are times like Durant and Kyrie Irving talking in a hallway during the All-Star break, months before they decided to team up together in Brooklyn.
This is what keeps the conspiracy theories going.
So, yes, in those brief seconds, maybe Steph did convince Giannis to come to Golden State in free agency in 2021 (and play Xbox.)
The question is, who else has Curry tampered with this year, especially since he’s been sidelined due to a broken hand?
Expect James to play for the Warriors soon. Even before Curry got hurt, they both laughed in a preseason game.
George was injured for his game against the Warriors, but his Clippers team still won by 19 points. This was a genius move by Curry, who wanted to show just how badly the Warriors needed him. This is likely what they spoke about after the game.
The Mavericks’ 20-year-old may be the best-ever player at that age, but he’s likely heading to the Warriors soon. He dapped up Curry after a game.
Paul is locked into a Thunder team that is over-performing given how great he’s played, but is still is unlikely to hunt for a deep playoff run. There’s speculation Paul could be traded, so Curry put on his best tampering suit to try and get him.
How about Curry’s past tampering efforts?
Curry’s been on a tear recruiting the league’s best talent in the final minutes of games this year by shaking their hands, but he’s also laid the groundwork out for trades in previous seasons.
Curry could sense something brewing in Minnesota, with the team constantly underperforming despite having one of the world’s best bigs. Keep note of this hug if trade rumors heat up.
There is one of these for everyone. Unreal pic.twitter.com/25iWyjgPbo— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) December 30, 2019
If you can’t beat ‘em, tamper to get them. Curry didn’t let losing the 2019 Finals get in the way of his main goal: recruiting.
If you beat them, they can still join you, Curry thought as he shook Damian Lillard’s hand after his strong postseason run last year. Smart. The Warriors could use a backup point guard.
Jayson Tatum could sense what was happening here as Curry went for the hug-and-tamper with Irving. Curry might not have gotten Irving this past summer, but Irving clearly made a promise to play in Golden State before he hangs it up for good.
They may be enemies, but who could forget this May 2015 embrace. Curry won’t forget, but he will forgive in the name of tampering.
Warriors 2024 projected roster:
*if cap space permits