Stephen Curry: 'Huge' to Keep Klay Thompson, Talks Steve Kerr and Mark Jackson

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 29, 2014

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Stephen Curry hated to see Mark Jackson go, but he's ready to get to work with new Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

One relationship Curry doesn't want to lose is that with backcourt mate and fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, whose name has made regular appearances in the trade rumor mill of late.

Curry spoke candidly about all three topics while accepting the 2013-14 Kia Community Assist Seasonlong Award Thursday.

The sharpshooter told reporters he's spoken with Kerr "three or four times on the phone," but he's looking forward to sitting down with the current TNT analyst in the near future to discuss "expectations and his style of coaching."

May 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Steve Kerr addresses the media in a press conference after being introduced as the new head coach for the Golden State Warriors at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kerr is still serving as a color commentator for the Western Conference Finals, which could continue until Monday, June 2 if it goes to seven games. It's hard to say when Curry will get his sit-down with Kerr, who said recently he's been overwhelmed by the interest expressed in joining his coaching staff.

"Everybody is calling me about a spot on the (coaching) staff," Kerr said, via Sam Amick of USA Today. "I've got a million calls to make."

One can assume that Curry is high up on the priority list. Not only is the point guard the best player on the roster, but he was also one of Jackson's most outspoken supporters.

Curry said he has an emotional bond with Jackson that "will never stop." On the floor, Curry said his old coach symbolized the dramatic turnaround the franchise made over the last few seasons.

"He was a sign of stability to me," Curry said. "I had three coaches in three years, and he embodies what I know is good around here with the Warriors: winning and that kind of feel. I love coach (Keith) Smart and coach (Don) Nelson, but (Jackson) embodied winning for me. It’s tough to see that end."

May 1, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson (left) talks to guard Stephen Curry (30) against the Los Angeles Clippers during the fourth quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The W

The Warriors went 85-145 over Curry's first three seasons in the league. Since then, the team has enjoyed its best two-year stretch in more than two decades, racking up 98 wins, making back-to-back playoff appearances and collecting nine postseason victories.

The sixth-seeded Warriors suffered a five-point Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on May 3. Jackson was fired three days later.

"It’s tough to react to that – especially so soon after a Game 7 and fighting and fighting and fighting to win," Curry said. "You just have to take it a day at a time, and at the end of the day, you’ve got to come back for training camp prepared."

He said his teammates are "ready to play," but that "just like with any coach" there will be a feeling-out period with Kerr. Even though Curry might not have been a fan of Jackson's removal, he said he hasn't lost faith in the direction the franchise is headed.

"Each decision, I think, is geared toward winning," he said. "That’s something that flies well with a lot of players, knowing that they’re going to try to put us in the best position to win."

One decision Curry might not sign off on, though, would be one that sends Thompson out of town. The Warriors are said to be one of several teams in the Kevin Love sweepstakes, according to's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, and the Minnesota Timberwolves seem likely to at least inquire about the 24-year-old sniper.

Curry said it's critical that the franchise keeps Thompson around:

It’s huge. I love playing with him. He makes me better, and I try to make him better. How much better he’s gotten since Day 1 is kind of scary. He’s such a great two-way player, and he isn’t anywhere close to hitting his ceiling. I definitely want to continue to have him as my backcourt mate, keep pushing and growing together and not waste a nickname.

The Dubs seem to agree with their superstar. A team source previously told Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson II that they "don't want to" lose Thompson to get Love.

The Warriors might need to take an even firmer stance on the future of their 2 guard. Curry is clearly still effected by Jackson's removal, and though he's playing nice for now, that could change if the Warriors cut ties with another of his favorites.