Warriors’ Steve Kerr: Steph Curry withdrawing from Olympics ‘makes sense’ – The Mercury News

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Stephen Curry’s decision to bypass playing for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics “makes perfect sense.”

In an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, Kerr acknowledged he spoke to Curry about the decision and was supportive of his star, who shouldered more offensive responsibility than ever on his way to winning the NBA scoring title and taking the Warriors to within a game of making the postseason.

“Steph and I talked, Draymond [Green] and I talked,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think it makes perfect sense, actually. Steph has so many demands on his time. He has to play so hard for so much of the season. He’s 180 pounds. He’s [33]. He needs rest. I’m happy for Steph that he’s going to get plenty of rest and family time this summer and he’ll be ready to go come training camp in September.”

Curry won gold with Team USA in the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Cups but has never competed in the Olympics. He withdrew from the 2016 team to recover from injuries suffered during Golden State’s playoff run. Now Curry will spend the summer rehabbing from lingering effects of a tailbone fracture and the wear and tear of a season that ended with losses to the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in tournament.

Meanwhile, Green and former Warriors star Kevin Durant will team up again, this time for Team USA. Kerr will serve as an assistant coach.

“Thrilled to be coaching KD again,” Kerr said. “He gave us three amazing years. It was a wonderful relationship. I know people want to focus on the end when maybe it didn’t finish so well with the injury and his departure, but everything about Kevin and his involvement in the Olympics and coaching him again, it all excites me.”

The Warriors went to the NBA Finals in each of Durant’s three years in Golden State, winning two championships. He was named Finals MVP of those two titles before tearing his Achilles in the 2019 Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors.

After signing with the Brooklyn Nets two years ago and sitting out last season to rehabilitate, Durant returned this season and averaged 27 points, seven rebounds and nearly six assists, but played just 35 games. In the playoffs, however, he showed why he is perhaps the best two-way player in the league.

As the only healthy star on a team that includes James Harden and Kyrie Irving, Durant brought the Nets to within a shot of advancing past the Milwaukee Bucks and to the Eastern Conference finals. He averaged 35.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists on 42.7 minutes per game in the series, including a 49-point outing in Game 5 that will go down as one of his all-time best performances.

Playing like that, Durant will lead Team USA’s roster that is set to include Green, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, James Harden, Kris Middleton and possibly Chris Paul.

“He just showed he’s the most talented basketball player on earth, if not of all time,” Kerr said. “Honestly. He’s just so gifted. I loved coaching him, and I’m looking forward to doing so again.”