For a moment there, SexLand was one of the hottest thing in the NBA. Collin Sexton and Darius Garland made a significant step forward and took the league by surprise. Of course, as Cavaliers do, they came back to Earth after a few months, but the young point guard duo made enough waves to catch the eye of the league’s superstars.
It’s an amazing NBA tradition that ensures the league is in safe hands when the current group of leaders slowly age out of their prime – superstar players will recognize players they like and mentor them. That’s particularly useful if the veteran on your team is Kevin Love. Despite the flash they had last season, many were surprised to find out that the first unanimous MVP in NBA history and the best shooter ever to lace them up took notice of one of the Cavs guards.
“I talked to Steph Curry a couple of weeks ago, and I was asking him about young players he may have reached out to – guess who he said. Darius Garland. He loves Darius Garland A LOT. He thinks that kid will be a straight-out star.”Jackie MacMullan, The Bill Simmons Podcast
It may seem strange and counterintuitive to us that Garland would catch Steph‘s eye next to guys like Ja Morant and Trae Young. The biggest reason is that not many people watched the Cavs consistently last year apart from people in Ohio. While they form a duo with one of the best nicknames in the NBA, we’ve got news for fans not familiar with SexLand. If a trade opportunity arises and the Cavs have to trade one of their young guards, it won’t be a long discussion. Darius Garland is staying in Cleveland. He is the no-brainer better part of that duo, the guy Cleveland is not letting go of.
In addition to that, this is a good reminder we quickly forget about the team Steph Curry was drafted into. While Kevin Durant‘s excuse he didn’t feel he was joining a contender because of Golden State’s history was absurd, KD did state a fact. For most of their existence, the Warriors were somewhat of a joke of an organization. Steph wasn’t drafted into a stable organization and immediately started winning like Ja Morant or led his team in the Playoffs in a few years like Trae Young. If there’s a team that can be compared to the ’19/’20-’20/’21 Cavs, it’s the ’09/’10- ’10/’11 Warriors.
Steph’s leader was Monta Ellis, a man known for saying that the only difference between him and Dwyane Wade is “more wins and two championship rings,” finishing the thought with “Monta Ellis have it all.” (you gotta love a guy that refers to himself in the third person). Alongside Monta’s leadership, Steph spent his first few years playing with Reggie Williams, Correy Magette, Ronny Turiaf, CJ Watson, Andris Biedriņš, and Vladimir Radmanović. Does this team sound better than the Cavs roster Garland is surrounded with? Those Warriors teams went 26-56 in Steph’s first season and 36-46 his second year.
So it’s no wonder Steph noticed Garland has potential and that he probably has a lot more to show, given a better roster. Curry knows because he’s been there. Could the Cavs turn it around as the Warriors did? An ownership change is not likely, but new management seems to be taking the team in the right direction, and you know what they say – the most challenging thing is to get that first star.
If Steph is correct, the Cavs have that covered.