How Steph Curry & Draymond Green are Using Poker for Team Building at the Golden State Warriors




NBA stars earn millions and spend it lavishly. At times, players burn a part of their earnings by indulging in some fun in-team betting and gambling, and there are several stories that would validate these stories . Likewise, Golden State Warriors duo Steph Curry and Draymond Green are avid gamblers as well. 

The Dubs have two poker aficionados in the team

It isn’t surprising at all, as card-dealing is pretty much a tradition that’s been followed by the players for years. Team flights are the prime spots where these activities happen, and that’s the case with the Golden State Warriors. 

Warriors forward Kevon Looney has been with the team since 2015 but has never got himself into the ‘poker‘ world with his teammates. The most dominant gamblers on the team are apparently Steph Curry and Draymond Green, and the duo loves to play poker. 

“They’re pretty good,” Looney said. “I always stayed away.” Furthermore, Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser mentioned how Curry and Green have a reserved spot on team flights as their poker area. 

Jan 8, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) on the bench with assistant coach Bruce Fraser during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

“Draymond and Steph, since I’ve been here, have sat in the same exact seats and play cards. You can tell by that alone that those guys like each other. Then if you were to hear some of the laughter that comes from that area, it would make you say these guys really enjoy being together.

“I don’t think they would even tell you who wins more often — they like each other too much. By the end of the season, the money usually evens out,” added Fraser. 

Curry and Green are touted to be notorious poker players, and their chemistry improves their on-court relationship as well. Draymond joined a game of ‘Bourré’ as a rookie with Curry, Andrew Bogut, and David Lee on the table. And now, there are only two left. 

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‘Once You Get In, You Can’t Get Out’ – Warriors player on gambling

Steph Curry and Draymond Green have their own space in team flights for playing poker. They’re always seated in the midsection of the aircraft, which has them sitting behind the players’ area, and ahead of the coaching staffs’ seats. 

Klay Thompson is also a part of this traveling party, but as per ex-Warrior Shaun Livingston, “Klay has lost a lot.” Poker can be dreadful sometimes and it can empty one’s pocket real quick. However, NBA stars earn a fortune, so they’re ready to spend thousands of it on gambling.

December 12, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (left) and teammates celebrate against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

“I never once sat at that table or even thought about sitting at that table. It was open invitation. The thing is, once you get in, you can’t get out. So I didn’t even want to flirt with that kind of stuff,” said Kent Bazemore, who’s currently in his second stint with the Warriors. 

Poker ultimately declares only one winner, but it helps in building team camaraderie. Players who gamble together have a lot of fun and engage in a lot of friendly banter which helps in improving the team’s morale. 

“When you have that kind of chemistry, camaraderie, sort of enjoying the whole process, that really helps set the tone for the culture,” Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser said

But not every Warrior is interested in Poker. It is just Steph Curry and Draymond Green who go crazy about it. They’re carrying forward the tradition, but the table is always open for anyone who wants to come in and put their money on the line. 

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