NBA season 2016-17

Stephen Curry takes verbal swipe at Rihanna after NBA Finals antics

Golden State Warriors point guard plays down impact of the Cleveland Cavaliers fan’s courtside display during game one

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 June, 2017, 12:44pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2017, 9:07pm

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry joked about singer Rihanna 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 received a quick staredown from Kevin Durant after her assistant heckled him before a third-quarter free throw in Golden State’s 113-91 victory in game one.

Asked if Rihanna’s music was banned from the 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 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.

“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.”

Warriors reserve Andre Iguodala missed the entire fuss about Rihanna.

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“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-seven 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 fan devotion to James also get ignored as he tries to win his fourth title in eight career finals appearances.

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“The narrative and people writing articles and things like that, I don’t care. Those things doesn’t bother me,” James said.

“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. 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.”