My favorite quote from Warriors guard Stephen Curry is from nearly a decade ago.
He said former Golden State coach Mark Jackson brought the Warriors “from the gutters” of the NBA to playoff success. This was right around the time Curry led his squad to a playoff upset over the Denver Nuggets in 2013.
Back then, it was all new for Curry. A new team, a new challenge. And what a challenge it was. “The gutters” summed it up perfectly.
A couple of short years later, the dynastic success of the Golden State Warriors obliterated most challenges, with the real test only occurring in the NBA Finals.
During the regular season, however, playing basketball seemed more like unwelcome work at times in Golden State, as its roster, along with the entire NBA, knew they had their passport stamped for a deep playoff voyage.
Those days are clearly no longer, with Golden State attempting to secure the 10th and final seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Luckily, having to rise “from the gutters” again has brought out a new Curry. He says this season’s inconsistencies have given way to a “new love” for basketball.
It’s a bit rare to hear a superstar of Curry status say something like that. At 33 years of age, his love of the game is supposed to be well-entrenched. This season has been that tough, however, with the team still lacking an identity that coach Steve Kerr practically promised would develop.
Curry has dealt with injuries too, notably his ongoing tailbone situation.
But the absolute best part about this is that while Curry’s love for the game is refreshed, his game on the court is as good as ever. Can he bring the Golden State Warriors up from the gutters again, all the way to the NBA Finals? That would be quite a feat. With a renewed passion and the skills of a younger man, however, anything is possible.
(Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)