Shaquille O'Neal has no problem with the way Steph Curry handled a recent incident late in the game in the Warriors' win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the fourth quarter, with their team up 21, Draymond Green and the Warriors' bench celebrated a smooth finger roll from Jordan Poole. The referees seemingly took offense to this and quickly issued Green a technical foul.
As Poole, who was completely confused, went to the referee to complain, he realized that the technical was issued on Draymond Green. As he trotted back down to the other end of the floor, the two high-fived before Green then went to talk things over with the ref. After a lengthy verbal sparring session with the referee that lasted through the technical foul shot, play resumed.
Thirty seconds later, it was two-time MVP Steph Curry who was on the floor celebrating and waving his towel around after a big three. Seemingly locked in on the referee who issued Green a technical, Curry continued to celebrate until he was halfway across the baseline. That earned him his own technical foul, something Shaquille O'Neal chalks up to good leadership.
"That's good leadership by Steph because I've seen them play at their building and somebody hit them three. I've seen four or five guys on the court, on the edge of the court, dancing, jumping up and down. So if you're gonna call it, you gotta call it all the time."
Shaquille O'Neal continued:
"I used to get fined a lot, but it was sometimes like I used to have to do the pre-calculations. OK, I'm making this much if I smack this dude. How much? Ohh, yeah, no, I'm cool. Christmas coming up, too. Nah, I'm cool, I'm cool, yeah."
The comments came during a recent episode of The Big Podcast, which can be seen above. Shaquille O'Neal's comments about Curry begin around the 26-minute mark.
Shaquille O'Neal reading between the lines
There was more than one reason for Shaquille O'Neal to applaud Curry for getting his own technical after Draymond Green's. The fact that Green celebrated Jordan Poole's bucket given their rocky past is a great sign. This off-season, Green completely put the future of the Warriors' championship roster into question when he punched Poole in the face.
As he took a leave of absence from the team, many questioned whether Green would wind up opting out of his player option at the end of this season. With the team locking Poole down to a long-term extension this offseason, many thought it was a 'me or him' situation in Golden State. Fortunately, from the look of things, the two men truly have moved on from the altercation.
After having a rough start to the season, the fact that Green is getting t'd up for celebrating Poole's buckets is a great sign for the franchise. The team will play the Chicago Bulls Friday night as they continue their quest to go back-to-back in the NBA Finals.