DALLAS -- As the Golden State Warriors continue to repair internal damage in the wake of a verbal altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green during and following a Monday night overtime loss to the LA Clippers, point guard Stephen Curry said he is "extremely proud" of the way the team has come together since.
"It's been different. It's been tough," Curry said Saturday before the Warriors' 112-109 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, their third defeat in four games. "Obviously it sucks not being able to play. It sucks when you're not with the team when something like that happens. But I think the way we've handled it as a team, the way Draymond's handled it, the way KD's handled it, it's been nothing but professionalism and understanding that it's about the team. And the conversations that we've all had, whether it's one-on-one, as a team, is keeping that in mind.
"We have the opportunity to do something extremely special this year. There's going to be ups and downs and bumps in the road, whether it's self-inflicted or whether it's from outside.
"And at the end of the day, nothing should distract us from what our goal is. I think guys have attempted and are going to continue to get to a place where we can continue to move forward, get back to who we are as a team -- and once we get over these injuries, we'll be able to show what we're about as a team and do it together, so I'm extremely proud of the way we've handled this last week. It's an opportunity to really implode and crumble, but that's not going to happen."
Curry, out since Nov. 8 with a strained left groin, spoke Saturday for the first time since both the injury and the altercation between Durant and Green, one that led to a one-game suspension for the latter. Curry remains confident that his teammates will be able to move forward.
"They have a lot of equity built in their relationship," Curry said of Durant and Green. "We've won championships together. They've brought out the best in each other. Obviously, I don't think they've had an incident to this level, but you don't have the experiences you've had and go through the journey that we've been on and let it be derailed by something like that. Obviously, from a personal standpoint, there are things that need to be worked through. That's like any relationship in life. But at the end of the day, they both understand that neither one of them is going to be a reason that we don't win a championship this year. I can roll with that."
Warriors owner Joe Lacob told the San Francisco Chronicle that while Green "went beyond what we felt was appropriate" in his argument with Durant, the Warriors are handling things "very appropriately."
"It's totally a management issue," Lacob said. "[General manager] Bob Myers and our head coach Steve Kerr are handling it. And they're handling it very appropriately."
The team's decision to reprimand one player and not the other has raised questions as to whether the Warriors are giving preferential treatment to Durant, who will be a free agent after the season. Lacob struck down that notion.
"I've read and heard all the things people are talking about. That we're choosing one person over another," Lacob told the Chronicle. "We're not choosing anybody over anybody."
Lacob said Green gets the situation as well.
"He understands that, by the way," Lacob said. "I've been texting with him, and he totally gets it. I do have a great relationship with him, and I still do."
For his part, Curry is happy to be back around his teammates after not traveling with the group to Los Angeles for Monday's game. Kerr has repeatedly praised Curry's leadership ability and is glad to have him back on the bench and in the locker room while tension simmers within the team.
"It's tough because I want to be there with my brothers in terms of when stuff goes down," Curry said. "Win, lose or draw, I want to be there to experience it all. Injuries are tough, and they're part of the game, I know that's obviously the reason I wasn't there, but at the end of the day, like I said, the way that we've responded and moved forward -- can't be more proud of how we handled that."
Curry likes what he has seen from his group over the past few days in terms of moving forward.
"Obviously, I'm a leader," he said. "I've been through a lot with these guys. I've been here the longest, I understand exactly the culture we created here, and I'm not going to let that fall from one incident like that. I could talk about all the different conversations that have happened, whether I've been included or not. Again, it's just about how we as a team move forward. I just like the vibe. When I was in the locker room in Houston, on the bench, guys know how to have fun, how to enjoy themselves and understand what a special group we have. Not to let that fall by the wayside."
Curry also praised Kerr's ability to navigate the treacherous emotional terrain of the past week, holding to the notion that one bad blowup won't have a lasting impact on a team trying to win back-to-back-to-back NBA championships.
"Very authentic in terms of not sugarcoating anything," Curry said of Kerr. "Understanding the reality of the situation but also try to just keep us focused on how do we move forward as a team. That's really the most important thing. One incident in November can't taint the next six months of what we're trying to accomplish. He's spoke about that clearly, and I think that's important."
Curry is also confident that he will be back on the floor at some point in the near future. He has started to do more individual work on the court as he makes his way back. He will be re-evaluated in another week.
"Progress is moving in the right direction," Curry said. "Haven't had any setbacks or anything like that. But it's more so about getting full range of motion, doing so where it's pain-free and things like that. I'm learning about this one. I can tell you everything you want to know about ankles. But this is obviously a new one for me, so trying to make sure I stay cautious, but knowing that we're moving in the right direction. So I don't know how long it will be, but that's all I can pretty much ask for."