Angels drop Warriors? When PIGs fly

Four Halos visit NBA champs' practice to hoop it up

Angels drop Warriors? When PIGs fly

OAKLAND -- Mike Trout started off missing everything left, but then suddenly the superstar center fielder got hot. He nailed a shot from the corner, then two in a row from about 26 feet away. And Draymond Green -- NBA champion, integral member of arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled -- lost the impromptu game of P-I-G, a shorter version of H-O-R-S-E.

Steph Curry wasn't having it.

The Angels were merely here to spectate, to observe, to shake hands, to take pictures, maybe even acquire some autographs. Not to beat up on Curry's Golden State Warriors teammates. So he challenged them to another game, hitting a shot from the elbow and another one slightly behind the basket and another one basically from half-court.

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Trout was knocked out first, then Albert Pujols and then Cliff Pennington. But Joe Smith, the sidearm reliever with a wife, Allie LaForce, who played collegiate basketball, managed to get two letters on Curry, one of them with a reverse bank shot from the free-throw line.

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He grabbed the ball and stationed himself behind the three-point line.

"Left hand," Smith called out, then he drained the shot.

Curry tried the same, but it rimmed out, and the four Angels players threw up their hands and celebrated at center court.

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols meet Steph Curry.

Smith then held a press conference.

"We knew somebody had to beat him," Smith said, playfully, in front of a handful of cameras and about a dozen reporters. "We couldn't walk out of here without a win. That's not making ESPN."

For most of late Tuesday morning, the four Angels players sat courtside at the end of the Warriors' practice facility, watching them wind down their workouts the day before taking a shot at history. If the Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, they'll finish the 2015-16 season 73-9, besting the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that finished 72-10.

"It's must-watch TV now in the NBA when [Curry] plays, and obviously when the Warriors play," Trout said of the reigning NBA champs. "… You go for records, you go for rings, and you set your goals high. Obviously they set their goals real high."

Angels attend Warriors' practice

Trout is a loyal fan of the Sixers -- a revelation that prompted a collective moan from the media that encircled him -- and was actually a pretty good basketball player at Millville High School. His game "is not there anymore," Trout said, moments before throwing down a one-handed dunk with slacks and a button-down shirt.

After losing to Trout -- small sample size, of course -- Green admitted that he's "not very good at shooting games."

"I can shoot in the games," Green said, "but I'm not good at shooting games. It's cool, though. It's fun."

Smith, meanwhile, downplayed the significance of his own victory.

"He wasn't even trying," Smith said of Curry, who played after going through an entire practice with his team and then putting up 100 shots of his own, making 90 of them.

Joe Smith and Stephen Curry play horse

The Angels watched Curry shoot on one end of the floor and Klay Thompson, Curry's back-court partner and one of the game's most lethal three-point shooters, bury shot after shot directly in front of them.

"Incredible," Trout said. "They weren't missing."

Thompson, whose brother, Trayce Thompson, is an outfielder for the Dodgers, came by and greeted the Angels after his shooting exhibition.

Curry came next, and the Angels presented him with his own No. 30 jersey. Trout, Pujols and Curry have combined to make 17 All-Star Game appearances and have collective five Most Valuable Player Awards.

"I've watched Albert Pujols for years and never met him before," Curry said, "so that's pretty cool. And obviously Mike Trout and the rest of the teammates, talented guys in their trade, so it's pretty cool that they'd come out and watch us practice and get to chop it up for a little bit."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.