Lockout slows Warriors' transitionStephen Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle on May 25 after spraining it multiple times during the season
If it were up to Stephen Curry(notes), he'd be using the next couple months to rehab his surgically repaired right ankle at the Golden State Warriors' practice facility under the watch of the team's training and medical staffs. He'd also use the time to get to know Mark Jackson and the rest of the Warriors' new coaches, and better familiarize himself with the system they plan to implement.
The NBA lockout has put most of those plans on hold. Instead, Curry will rehab in Charlotte, N.C., and Washington with his own doctors and trainer. Nor can he speak to Jackson or anyone in the Warriors' front office, which also has been overhauled since the season ended.
"This would be a crucial time for us to get together with our new coach and new front office staff, and try to figure out the direction our team wants to go and get set," Curry said. "All the players have to do it individually now. That part of it is huge for us trying to get to where we want to go."
Jackson and Warriors assistant Michael Malone visited Curry in Charlotte for dinner last week in advance of the lockout. They also went to Memphis, Tenn., to meet with Monta Ellis(notes) and to St. Louis to visit David Lee(notes). Curry said Jackson and Malone preached the importance of improving the team's defense, and suggested the Warriors players work out together as much as possible during the lockout to build camaraderie.
"I like the hiring," Curry said of Jackson. "He knows the game, and the only knock against him right now is he doesn't have any coaching experience. For him to hire Pete Myers and Michael Malone behind him [as assistants] helps start a great staff. From what I can tell from the meeting with [Jackson] and Mike, they had a great chemistry just from the start. It's going to be a work in progress day to day with the coaching philosophies he wants to implement for us and get us to where he wants us to go."
Curry said he, Ellis, Lee and Dorell Wright(notes), who lives in Los Angeles, plan to meet in each other's cities for workouts. The Warriors have tried to downplay speculation they want to trade Ellis. Jackson has claimed to be a big fan of the Warriors' leading scorer.
"I don't know about the talks he had with the front office or where they ended before the lockout, but as of right now, he's still a Warrior," Curry said of Ellis. "We want him with our team. He makes us better. And I think with a fresh start and all the new faces with the organization that will help him forget about the past and not really affect what is going on right now.
"I know there has been a lot of turmoil with him and the organization in the past. I can't speak for him, but I think the new look of our organization will help him make a difference."
Curry also hopes to be ready for the start of training camp – whenever that may be – after having ankle surgery. In anticipation of the lockout, Curry wanted to have the surgery done near his native Charlotte. The Warriors helped him find Dr. Bob Anderson, a Charlotte-based foot and ankle specialist who has worked with several Charlotte Bobcats and other NBA players. The Warriors also had Curry visit with an ankle specialist in Baltimore for another opinion.
Curry had surgery May 25. With his NBA medical insurance canceled with the lockout's arrival, Curry made sure his bills were paid in advance with enough leeway to cover the first two weeks of July. He just began his first week of physical therapy and hopes to be on the court doing drill and conditioning work in two weeks with his trainer Steve Kostorowski in Washington.
During the lockout, the Warriors are not allowed to communicate with Curry or his doctor or trainer.
"I don't know how I can get information to them about my progress," Curry said. "It is basically on me to make sure I stay on my rehab. The doctor here really can't bounce any ideas off our team doctor. The communication lines have been cut off between us and them."
Curry also has some other plans for July: He and his fiancèe, Ayesha Alexander, are getting married in Charlotte at the end of the month. He expects eight Warriors teammates, other NBA players like Rudy Gay(notes), Ronny Turiaf(notes) and Corey Maggette(notes) and members of former Warriors coach Keith Smart's staff to attend. He's still waiting to see if Warriors' front office officials and Bobcats assistant coach Stephen Silas, a former Golden State assistant, can get cleared by the NBA to go. Miami Heat officials were recently given permission to attend Chris Bosh's(notes) wedding.
"They all sent their regards and petitioned the league to come to the wedding, so they're not breaking any rules," Curry said. "As of right now, they can't come. I don't know how the process is going. If they show up, they show up. If not, I understand why."
Like most players, Curry remains hopeful the lockout won't drag on too long.
"I just want to see when the pressure starts, when the money that people are going to start to lose comes into play on both ends," he said. "Not just the players with the paychecks, but the owners with the money they were getting from us playing. Reality is coming right around the corner."