After one season with the Warriors, Kelly Oubre entered free agency this summer and ultimately decided to join the Charlotte Hornets on a two-year contract.
The 25-year-old wing had his introductory press conference Tuesday, and said he received some encouraging words from Steph Curry after he made the decision to join the Hornets.
“He reached out to me after I signed,” Oubre told reporters. “Telling me congrats, and how ironic it is for me to be playing in his hometown. He pretty much told me to be myself man and the city will love me. I just have to continue to bring that passion and energy like I do and everything will work.
“He just gave me some encouraging words to go and fulfill the next part of my journey. He’s just a stand-up guy. I was blessed to cross paths with him in my career. I learned a lot from him, more off the court than on the court. Obviously, on the court, he’s an anomaly. You look at him and you can learn as much as you want to, but not everybody can do what Steph can do. He just gave me that passion, that hunger again to go out and get what’s mine and pretty much just kill the narrative. That’s what he said and I appreciate him so much.”
Oubre had a rough start to his lone Warriors season, but he came on in the middle of the year and played well until a wrist injury ended his season.
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While both the Warriors and Oubre said they were interested in a reunion, the wing returning to the Bay never seemed likely. With Klay Thompson’s pending return, Oubre eventually would have been asked to come off the bench, a role he never seemed thrilled with.
The Warriors entered free agency looking to add veterans to a relatively young roster, and they were able to do so by signing Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, Nemanja Bjelica and Chris Chiozza. Golden State lost out on Nicolas Batum, DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills, but still was able to round out the roster nicely around Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
The decision to acquire Oubre after Thompson’s injury last November was the right one, it just didn’t turn out how the Warriors planned. Oubre always will be grateful for his time spent with Curry, but now he’s ready to start his next chapter in Curry’s hometown with the Warriors star’s words helping fuel his fire.