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Kerr: Steph entering season ‘at his absolute peak’

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Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr put the league on notice about what he expects from Stephen Curry this year. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)
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OAKLAND — Entering his fourth season on the bench for the Golden State Warriors, Steve Kerr has seen plenty a defense get nervous as soon as Stephen Curry, the two-time MVP, hits the logo at midcourt.

After practice on Thursday, Kerr spoke at length about the Baby-Faced Assassin’s unique skill set and how he believes Curry is only getting more dynamic.

“I think Steph is at his absolute peak right now — physically, emotionally,” Kerr said. “This is probably as good as he’s ever going to be. I think he’s better now than he was last year and the year before – and that’s saying something.”

While conceding that Curry is not quite the two-way play as fellow superstars like Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard, Kerr said the guard is unmatched when it comes to offense.

“He’s the most impactful offensive player in terms of what he does to the defense — maybe ever,” Kerr said. “Like, there’s guys, obviously, Michael Jordan impacted things, but the way Steph plays puts the fear of god into defenses like nobody I’ve ever seen.”

Kerr added that Curry’s sharp-shooting and defense-wrecking ways make him the center of the Warriors universe.

“Nobody’s been able to shoot off the dribble from 35 feet … but he does that which changes the entire game,” Kerr said. “So, everything we do revolves around Steph.”

‘That’s just China Klay’

Kerr likes to bring stars from beyond the basketball world into the locker room and during the recent trip to China that guest was Roger Federer.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner received an unexpected line of questioning from Klay Thompson, the reigning champ from last year’s Warriors ping-pong tournament.

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“Federer was taking questions,” Kerr recalled. “[And] I said, ‘Any of you guys have questions?’”

“[Klay] goes, ‘Yeah, how’s your ping pong game?’”

“That’s China Klay,” Kerr said with a laugh. “Here in Oakland, he wouldn’t have asked anything.”

The Splash Brother never got a chance to take on Federer.

“Federer said his ping pong game’s pretty nice. Klay said, ‘So is mine.’ So, it felt like there was a little bit of a challenge.”

Gladwell and the Dubs

Following in the Federer vein, Kerr said he’d like to get Malcolm Gladwell — the noted journalist, author and speaker — in front of his team this season.

Roster cutdown looming

The Warriors will cut down the roster to 15 players following Friday night’s exhibition finale against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. The club currently has 18 players on the preseason roster.

JaVale Pachulia

Backup bigman JaVale McGee donned Zaza Pachulia’s blue No. 27 practice jersey on Thursday. McGee said he left his blue uniform in the locker room so he just borrowed the gear of Pachulia, who was wearing white.

kbuscheck@sfexaminer.com

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