OAKLAND -- Still clearly feeling the blues about the sudden firing of coach Mark Jackson, Warriors star guard Stephen Curry said Thursday he and his teammates nonetheless have to start moving forward to preserve their goal of winning an NBA championship.
Curry, speaking after a team facility ceremony honoring him with the league's prestigious Kia Community Assist Seasonlong Award, said he anticipates there will be an adjustment period to new coach Steve Kerr but that players will eventually get on board, even while harboring strong feelings toward their former coach.
"That's with every new coach," Curry said. "I don't think it'll be advertised in the locker room as to how long it will take (Kerr) to win the locker room over. Guys are ready to play and be professional about it and come prepared for training camp.
"Just like with any new coach, you have to feel it out, and it will probably be a little different. We just have to adjust, but at the end of the day, all the guys in the locker room are trying to win, and I know Steve Kerr has that mentality and mission as well.
"If those two things are aligned, then we'll be fine."
Curry, who has been quiet on Jackson's firing and Kerr's hiring except for a brief interview with Bay Area News Group columnist Marcus Thompson II, said he already has had three or four phone conversations with Kerr and is eager to meet him face-to-face once Kerr's analyst assignment with TNT for the NBA Western Conference finals is over.
"A lot of it is just outlook on the locker room as it is now and what his vision is for us next year going into the season," Curry said. "So not much details have been talked about, but I think in the coming weeks we can sit down -- as I'm sure he will with most other guys on the team -- and talk about expectations and what his style of coaching will be. We'll be able to adjust and hopefully be good to go."
Curry said he has talked to all of his teammates since Jackson's firing, which occurred almost immediately after the Warriors were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. He acknowledged that residual bitter emotions still exist.
"I think the feeling was how quick things happened after the season -- it was kind of a shock," he said. "It takes some time to kind of respond and react. Obviously, they made a semi-quick hire, but I think as the summer goes on, we'll kind of remove ourselves from last year to next year, and it'll be fine.
"It's just tough, though -- there's no sugarcoating it. It was a weird, expedited situation that we didn't see coming, and guys as humans have to be able to adjust to it and have some time to respond."
Curry confessed he personally did not deal well with the sudden severing of ties with Jackson, especially after pleas to management that he be retained.
"That relationship will never stop," he said. "He did a lot for me as a player and as a person. It's emotional, for sure, to see that come to an end.
" ... Obviously, we have to focus on next year and grow under Coach Kerr, hopefully even more. But it's tough to kind of react to that, especially so soon after Game 7 -- fighting, fighting, fighting trying to win. So I just try to take it a day at a time and then one day come back to training camp, talk to Coach Kerr all summer and try to figure out how to make this team better, because that's going to be the mission."
Curry said as long as the Warriors organization continues to be committed to winning, he wants to remain with Golden State.
"I think this decision is geared toward winning," he said. "That's something that flies well with players. They're going to try to put us in the best position to win. Obviously, I had a certain opinion of Coach Jackson, and they made a decision otherwise. I heard the reasons and I won't dwell on it, but as long as we're focused on winning, taking advantage of the roster we have and the opportunity we have with this window to try to continue to get better, I'm just looking forward to next year and getting back to making that happen.
"I haven't lost faith in that at all, as much as I supported Coach Jackson and loved everything about him and playing for him. I think it's about winning."
Curry added that he hopes budding trade rumors concerning his "Splash Brother" backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, don't come to fruition.
"I love playing with him," he said. "He makes me better, I try to make him better. I look at how much better he's gotten since Day 1. It's kind of scary. He's such a great two-way player, and he isn't anywhere close to hitting his ceiling. I definitely want him to continue being my backcourt mate and keep pushing, keep growing together, and not to waste a nickname."
Curry is the third winner of the leaguewide NBA Cares Community Assist Award in recognition of his numerous charitable contributions, fundraising and generosity locally and around the world. The Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol and Miami's Dwyane Wade were the previous winners. Many of the beneficiaries of Curry's work were on hand to help celebrate the honor. None of his Warriors teammates were present, however.
"This is very humbling for sure," he said. "You don't really dream of winning an award like this. It's more so about the journey with the platform as it continues to grow, to be able to use it in the right way.
"I've been blessed with a great team behind me to make ideas that I have come to life and also bring new experiences that hopefully I can have some kind impact on -- on some kids' lives and different groups of people."