Stephen Curry says mouthpiece tossed out of frustration, not at referee

ByChris Haynes ESPN logo
Monday, October 23, 2017

MEMPHIS -- Golden State Warriors superstars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durantwere ejected late in Saturday night's 111-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

With under a minute to go and his team trailing considerably for most of the contest, Curry drove in for a layup. The former MVP took some contact, but there was no call. An irate Curry threw his mouthpiece on the court in the direction of official Scott Wall and was immediately tossed from the game.

Durant then rushed over to Wall and had some words before also being ejected.

When asked if he intended to throw his mouthpiece at the official, Curry quickly refuted that narrative.

"I didn't throw my mouthpiece at the ref," Curry told ESPN. "I got better aim than that. I threw it out of frustration."

Added Durant: "I felt Steph got fouled on that drive, and I let [Wall] know about it, and he threw me out."

Curry, who had a game-high 37 points while being plagued with foul trouble all night, felt some of the calls should have gone in his favor.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled, and my frustration boiled over," he said. "I did something stupid. I deserved to get kicked out, and that's what happened. Obviously, I'll learn from it and try not to do it again."

He reiterated that sentiment in a tweet.

The league will now have to decide if Curry's actions warrant a suspension or just a fine. The two-time MVP believes a fine is sufficient.

"I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor," he said. "It's probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. [I] own up to it. I don't think it's a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter for sure, though."

Coach Steve Kerr joked that he thought what happened merited a multigame ban.

"I think he should be suspended eight, maybe 10 games for that," Kerr said sarcastically. "It was egregious. It was awful. It endangered thousands of people in the stands."

When Durant was being escorted off the court, he was seen interacting with heckling fans by flashing his ring finger as a reminder that he's an NBA champion.

"It's a part of the game. It's fun," Durant said. "They're heckling us, calling us names. It's all in good fun. It's nothing personal, nothing serious."

To clear up any confusion, Durant said he wasn't giving fans the middle finger.

"I did the ring finger," he said. "I'm sure everybody thinks I'm the angry black athlete, so I got to put my middle finger up. But nah, I put the ring finger up."

Golden State is now 1-2, and the Warriors haven't clicked for a full 48-minute game. But in the locker room, the team was still cracking jokes and keeping the atmosphere upbeat.

This team isn't in panic mode yet.

Draymond Green, who is a frequent league leader in technical fouls and ejections, served as the comedic, voice-of-reason figure on this night.

"We had two guys get ejected, which was unacceptable," Green told ESPN in a joking fashion. "If we're going to win, have a possibility at winning another championship, guys can't be getting ejected like that. So I've got to talk to those two guys and let them know that we need those guys on the floor, and then maybe we can win a game. But right now, we're not that good because guys are getting ejected."

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