No professional sports team has a game manual to deal with a global pandemic.
No one knows how to handle the shutdown of the team’s facilities and the confinement of the athletes for several months.
But everyone involved is trying to get the most out of stopping the coronavirus. Zoom teleconferences have replaced face-to-face meetings.
While Warriors goalkeeper Steph Curry takes advantage of the extra time around his wife Ayesha and their three children, he misses precious time with many of his young teammates.
In an interview with Doris Burke of ESPN for the Jr. NBA Leadership Conference on Friday, Curry admitted that he had not done a great job connecting with his Warriors teammates during his two months at home.
“We are in a very unique situation, we are so new to each other,” said Curry. “So many new faces that this year has always been trying to get to know each other,” the year of the bridge, “trying to get back on top. Obviously, with injuries and everything, so that it sank in this suspension where it’s been tough, to be honest. The thing about the things we were talking about earlier, from the perspective of family and loved ones, and now as a parent, there is a lot of time invested in these relationships, and from a work perspective, I’m so used to having this drive to the practice center, and the four to five to six hours that we’re at the gym, where it’s just kind of a natural conversation, and you’re getting to know people over time, because you really can’t force this stuff. And so it’s a little removed. It was difficult. “
– Jr. NBA (@jrnba) May 15, 2020
Unlike previous seasons where the Warriors had a veteran roster, this year’s group has 10 players with three years or less of NBA experience, including six rookies.
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Curry himself is now the oldest and oldest player on the Warriors list. While André Iguodala and Shaun Livingston may have been the old wise voices in the room in past seasons, this duty now falls to Curry, and he is unable to do it face to face for the moment.
“What opened my eyes was how important these relationships are to what we do on the ground,” said Curry. “It’s not just about pooling talent. This is this chemistry and so on. So honestly, I haven’t done a great job and I hold myself to a high level of leadership, so I’m trying to find ways to have a good balance, but check out the young guys who – I can’t imagine if I were a rookie entering this league and trying to understand everything, and you are struck by the postponement of the season. So be trapped in your house and have nowhere to go and be in a different city and all that. Long answer to say, I’m working on it. “
Although Curry is not doing a great job on his own, he acknowledged that the team is hopping on Zoom calls to try to bond.
“The things that we’re trying to do now from a team perspective, to have calls like this where we can ask – we’re not even talking about basketball, it’s just” Hey, that what’s going on “Curry said. “Do training sessions twice a week where everyone can at least be connected on this front, know that we are doing the same thing. I think the biggest message we got out, myself, Draymond and Klay, was, overview, there are a lot of things that are much more important than basketball to get us through this virus and families who are going through a lot of hardships.
“But when basketball comes back, we will have a great opportunity to recover where we were and it will come with a lot of hard work and it will look completely different but I hope everyone buys and does everything as you can in the meantime to make sure you are doing well mentally and physically. “
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No one knows if or when the 2019-2020 NBA season will resume and whether the Warriors will be invited to play all or part of their last 17 regular season games. Although the Warriors have not opened their facilities in San Francisco, other NBA teams have done so, so the resumption of the season may be on the horizon.
In the meantime, Curry can work on his Zoom calls to his teammates.