Kevon Looney shares crazy Steph Curry story, his favorite title and Invisalign partnership | Exclusive Interview

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney shared a crazy Steph Curry story, his journey in his career and more in an interview with FanSided's Peter Dewey.

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney has always been able to adapt to put his team in a position to win, and he’s become known for his hard work and signature smile while winning three titles with the franchise. 

Recently, I was able to speak to Kevon in an exclusive interview (check it out in the Youtube link below) to discuss this year’s team, his favorite title in his NBA career and his partnership with ​​Invisalign. 

“Yeah, I've been with Invisalign since September and it’s been a dope experience,” Looney said. “I've always been a guy that smiled a lot, but I always wanted to improve my smile –  but I always wanted to keep my signature look – I had to keep my gap. That was one of my dealbreakers about getting my teeth fixed. And when I realized with Invisalign that it was customizable, I'll be able to keep my gap and still fix my smile and fix some of the small things I thought I had wrong with it. You know, it's been great.

“So, I've been smiling a lot this year even though there's been a lot of ups and downs and a lot of adversity, but I'm able to still keep a smile and feel good about myself and still stay confident because of Invisalign. It's been a great partnership and I encourage anybody that has any insecurities about this smile or their teeth – or they wanna make a little enhancements – go to Invisalign.”

Looney came to the Warriors in the 2015-16 season, right after the team won a title. While he didn't play much as a rookie due to an injury, that injury actually helped shape his career into what it is today. 

Entering the NBA, Looney’s role changed a ton from starring at UCLA to suddenly trying to find his way on a team that already had a championship pedigree. A first-round pick, Looney also was forced to adjust his game after undergoing surgery on a torn labrum in his hip. 

He spoke about the adjustment he made, and how he changed his game to help the Warriors win. 

“It was definitely a huge adjustment coming into the NBA,” Looney said. “I didn't know what to expect, especially coming off the injury. I didn't know how I’d recover from it and then being on a team that's already won it, and they had kind of got a system… that it works.

“So, trying to figure out how to make my game match the team to try to help us win. I was never a huge screen setter, and I never played in a lot of motion style offenses. And so that was all pretty brand new to me. I had to kind of learn on the fly, and I was able to adapt. I feel like I'm one of the best screen setters in the league and I feel like I'm one of the best rebounders in the league. And I had to learn how to do that at this level. And I feel like I adapted pretty well.

“You know, sometimes things change, we had different players, different groups come in so my role might be less, might be more. But I always adapted to help our team win. And I feel like I take a lot of pride in that to be able to figure out.

“I feel like I take a lot of pride in being a high IQ guy and I think that shows on the court when I'm able to adapt and change.”

There’s no doubt that Looney has found a perfect role with the Warriors playing in all 82 games in multiple seasons, showing that he’s a valuable veteran on the roster. The Warriors likely don’t win the 2022 NBA Finals without Looney anchoring the team’s defense and averaging 7.3 rebounds per game (the second-highest average of his NBA career). 

Kevon Looney on the Warriors’ playoff push this season

Golden State is stuck in a tight race for a play-in spot in the Western Conference, and the team still has an outside chance at earning the No. 6 seed in the West. 

It’s a familiar position, as the team was in the play-in tournament in the 2020-21 season and just avoided it last season, taking the No. 6 spot in the West. Looney shared how the team’s previous experiences should help it down the stretch of the 2023-24 campaign. 

“So, our goal is to get out of the play-in and try to get as high as possible because one game could change everything,” Looney said. “And we know it’s pretty tough. So, you want to get out of that position, try to get as high as possible.

“But, the experience of playing that one game – one game elimination type style,I think we learned from it. I think the coaches learned from it. And I know I learned from that experience so something that we can have in our back pocket that we have some experience playing that type of style. But, we know it's not gonna be easy every game.”

Looney mentioned that the team still can make a run over the final stretch of the season to earn a top-six seed, saying they need to remain “locked in” over the final few weeks of the regular season. 

Kevon Looney on adding rival Chris Paul to the roster

During the Warriors’ run where they made five straight NBA Finals appearances, the team constantly saw itself matched up in the playoffs with Chris Paul. 

Now, after a trade that brought him from Washington to Golden State in the offseason, Paul is going to battle with Looney, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, some of his old rivals. 

“I didn't know what to expect, over the years, people ask me who's your guy's rival?” Looney said. “I'm like it's kind of been, LeBron [James] and Chris Paul – where Chris Paul is playing with the [Los Angeles] Clippers, the Phoenix or Houston or whatever team he's on, that's our rival. So, I didn't know what to expect coming in, I always competed against him and I never really got a chance to talk to him.”

Despite that, Paul has fit in seamlessly in Golden State. 

“He's been a great teammate,” Looney said of Paul. “He's been a great leader for this team. He's a guy that you can just have a conversation with about basketball, about life.”

With CP3 back from an injury that caused him to miss several games, the Warriors have one of the better bench units in the NBA, anchored by Looney, Paul and Thompson. 

Kevon Looney on Jonathan Kuminga’s development

Jonathan Kuminga is averaging a career-high in points per game for Golden State this season, earning a starting role and quickly becoming one of the most important pieces on this season’s roster. 

Looney said that he and his teammates always knew Kuminga had this talent, it’s just a matter of the youngster putting this together in his third NBA season. 

“I think he's just been more consistent,” Looney said of Kuminga. “I think he's earned the trust of coach (Steve Kerr) and, and all the other guys to put the ball in his hands more. I think he's shown and proven that why he's always been a high talent guy. I think his mindset has been a lot better. I think his IQ has grown a lot more. He’s seeing the floor better. He's seeing the game better.” 

Looney also mentioned that it’s tough to come into a championship-caliber team as a young player and thrive immediately. But, he thinks Kuminga is really finding his way this season.

“I can't wait to see his next step,” Looney added. “He's been growing each and every month, each and every week, he's getting better and adding new stuff. He's been showing his whole arsenal and I'm happy to see it.”

Crazy Steph Curry story from training camp

Curry, the greatest shooter in NBA history, has shocked fans time and time again with his one-of-a-kind shot-making ability. 

But does he have the same effect on his teammates? 

Looney admitted that you can get numb to Steph’s greatness when you play with him every day, but he also shared a crazy story from training camp this season. 

“He (Curry) had Gary [Payton II] and, and JK guard him in practice and they’re some really good defenders right there, and I don't know if something made him mad or what he had going on that day, but he decided to turn on full Steph Curry mode and he hit some crazy shots,” Looney said. “I think he almost made somebody fall, hit a 3, got an and one and it was like, ‘Oh, OK, like this is why he’sSteph Curry.’ 

“That's how he usually plays for the game and practice, he kind of just be chilling and he do his little things. But this day he decided he was gonna put on a show and show and prove a point. And I was this year like, ‘Man, this man is 35-36 and he hasn’t lost a step. He might be getting better.’

“Sometimes you get used to it, you get numbed to all the great things that he's doing the 3-point records, and I’ve seen him make 105 3s in a row. You get numb to some of the things. But sometimes he reminds you like, ‘Man, this dude is one of the best ever for a reason.’”

Which championship meant the most to Kevon Looney?

A three-time champion, Looney shared which of the three has a special place in his heart from his career: 

“The last one, the last one was dope,” Looney said. “That was probably my best playoff run. So selfishly, I always remember that one, being in a historic place like Boston, I watched them growing up my whole life. I remember the Kobe [Bryant] versus Celtics series and stuff like that. So being able to win in Boston and have my parents there, it was just amazing and that was a great run. It was just a great story, because nobody thought we was gonna win it. Everybody doubted us. And for us to go from the play-in to the Finals  – We had been in the play-in the year before. We lost, we came back and made a run like that. That was special. That is something that I will always remember.”

To catch the whole conversation with Kevon Looney, make sure to watch the Youtube video above!