In a surprise to many in the NBA, the Warriors won it all in 2022. Why was it such a surprise? For a few reasons. But one factor sticks out more than most.
The Warriors are old. Relatively speaking, at least. Superstar Stephen Curry led the team at the ripe old (NBA) age of 34. His longtime running mates, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, are also well past 30 years of age.
But according to Curry’s trainer Brandon Payne, Curry is still getting stronger and even faster. That was a theme of this year’s NBA Playoffs, with Curry playing some of his best defense thanks to his added mass. Payne told 95.7 The Game that Curry is just getting warmed up, however.
Payne explained that Curry is just now growing into his “grown man” body, something that happens for most athletes at 27-29 years of age. That’s incredible, but not too surprising, considering that Curry couldn’t even grow a beard when he won his first NBA title in 2015.
So while most NBA guards slow down dramatically at Curry’s age, Steph is still on the upswing, according to Payne. And it’s easy to believe him.
Curry was the MVP of the NBA Finals and played some of the best basketball of his career, especially in Game 4 in Boston. His added strength was evident, not just on defense, but on offense, too.
I tried to find a better clip, but one of my favorite moments for Curry during the NBA Finals was late in Game 4. The Warriors really needed a bucket, and as Curry dribbled around looking for one, he knocked over Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who seemingly was no match for Curry’s strength. You can see the play at the 2:16 mark of the video below.
Curry is not only growing stronger, but he also seems to enjoy using his newfound strength, as it’s added yet another level to his game on both sides of the floor.
How long can Curry continue to get better and avoid the decline that happens for most players his age? To hear Payne tell it, Curry can go for four of five more years. But the joy will be in the journey, as always in Golden State. Curry is clearly working hard to make sure the ride lasts as long as physically possible.