Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/AFP
OAKLAND, USA – Golden State's Stephen Curry joked about singer Rihanna on Saturday, June 3, after the famous Cleveland Cavaliers fan's courtside antics during the NBA Finals opener.
The Barbados born actress-singer bowed to Cleveland star LeBron James, dismissed hecklers among the hometown Warriors supporters and got a quick staredown from Kevin Durant after her assistant heckled him before a 3rd-quarter free throw in Golden State's 113-91 victory Thursday, June 1.
Asked if Rihanna's music was banned from the pre-game locker room musical offerings played by the Warriors, Curry said, "I don't think it was on there to begin with."
Curry said the Warriors block out most noise and famous faces in the audience as distractions to their on-court focus, but take a moment to notice people they know beyond celebrity fame.
"At times, yeah, there's a lot of noteworthy people that show up, especially this time of year to The Finals games," Curry said. "I saw (actor) Kevin Hart on the sidelines. He's over there cracking jokes the whole game. Stuff like that, you can have fun with at times.
Kevin Durant says he's not touching the Rihanna question, Steph's reaction is hilarious pic.twitter.com/H2jEUCIPC4 — CJ Fogler (@cjzero) June 2, 2017
"You don't want to obviously let it distract you. As players we do a pretty good job of being able to tune out noise and distractions and stuff on the fly when we need to be able to do what we do on the floor, but still enjoy the atmosphere of the stage that we're on."
Warrior center Zaza Pachulia, hoping to become the first player from the nation of Georgia to win an NBA crown, did offer some love for Rihanna's sound.
"I have not heard Rihanna's music (in the locker room) but I'm sure everybody has her on their play list. I do, for sure," he said.
He missed Rihanna's courtside moves.
"It was too loud," he said. "There were way more Warriors fans than Cavs fans."
Warriors reserve Andre Iguodala also missed the entire fuss about Rihanna.
"I was just really focused on the floor, so anything outside of that, I don't pay any mind to it," he said.
James said he blocks out all the crowd noise, even supportive shouts, to focus on the game, especially on the road as his Cavaliers are for the first two games in the best-of-7 championship series.
"I really don't hear the noise. I couldn't really care less," James said. "It really doesn't matter to me. I'm just here to play ball and compete for a championship."
Stories about Rihanna's hoops fan devotion to James also get ignored as he tries to win his 4th title in 8 career finals appearances.
"So it's hard for me to even tell my teammates, 'Hey, don't listen to it,' because I don't even get involved in it. I stopped caring a long time ago, so it doesn't even bother me at all."
Warriors guard Klay Thompson is on a media blackout as well, noting fame is nice but, "It means nothing if you come out here and lay an egg."
"It's either going to make you feel too good or it's going to make you feel bad about yourself," he said. "You want to stay even-keeled and not get too caught up in what people are saying because then you get stuff that's unnecessary into your head." – Rappler.com