When the lights are on the stars come out. For many NBA arenas, the past two seasons have been distorted versions of a once proud relationship between the fans and the players. From March 2020, the fans were shut out completely. Last season each arena opened up at its own pace, according to local mandates.
Steph Curry finally got to perform in front of a sellout crowd for the first time in 600 days, and the two-time MVP and three-time world champion gave the fans an incredible welcome back.
So @StephenCurry30 had a night…
— NBA (@NBA) October 22, 2021
Living on the East Coast made it hard for some fans to stay up late for the 10:30 NBA games on TNT or ESPN. That was before a little guard from Davidson University took the league by storm with his uncanny and unbelievable shooting range and elite accuracy. Add the unrivalved showmanship and swagger, and you get Wardell Stephen Curry Jr., the greatest shooter the NBA has ever seen. Once Steph hit the scene in Golden State, basketball fans were afraid to go to sleep and miss the greatest show on hardwood.
— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) October 22, 2021
But he’s so much more than a shooter. Folks don’t even realize he’s been in the top 10 in points in the paint four of the past six seasons he’s been fully healthy. Not many shooters can say they attack and score in the paint that often.
The Golden State Warriors built a dynasty around Curry, and in 2015 and 2016 he won back-to-back NBA MVP awards while also leading the Dubs to the greatest regular season record ever (73-9) in 2015-16. Curry also hit a league-record 402 threes during that historic season. In fact, Curry holds four of the top five and five of the top ten seasons in league history for three-pointers made.
"MVP type caliber expectation… I always have that.”@StephenCurry30 joins the Inside crew to discuss his goals for the season after his 45-point performance in @warriors home opener. pic.twitter.com/DCRePDlVh9
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 22, 2021
Rings & Things
With three NBA titles (2015, 2017 and 2018), seven All-Star appearances, two scoring titles, four First-Team All-NBA selections, two Second-Team All-NBA selections, and one Third-Team All-NBA selections, his résumé speaks for itself.
A 2019 NBA Finals loss to the Raptors, due heavily to injuries to Kevin Durant (torn Achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL), had many saying the Dubs’ run was over. It looked that way in 2019-2020 for sure. First Durant bounced to Brooklyn via free agency. Then Thompson was lost for the season with the ACL tear, while Curry played only five games after breaking his wrist. What followed next was unprecedented, with the hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic stopping play for nearly four months from March until July.
The Warriors Dynasty was forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.
Klay Thompson says "it just kills me inside" when he sees other players or tv analysts talking about the Warriors dynasty being over. Is he right? Or are they? pic.twitter.com/63THVLGBzQ
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 8, 2020
Due to a litany of unfortunate circumstances, Golden State was awful all season, and with no chance at making the playoffs, they weren’t invited to the NBA bubble.
The 2020-21 season began with another blow, as the night of the NBA draft news rang out that Klay Thompson, who was still on the mend from that torn ACL, also tore his Achilles in a workout.
The pressure to carry the Warriors again fell solely on Curry, who obliged with a historic season. One which saw him lead the league in scoring despite constant double and triple teams. It only added to his legend to see him accept the challenge and exceed expectations by shooting an insane 48 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three.
— Fantom Sports Industries (@Fantom_sports) October 20, 2021
The Dubs went 39-33 during the regular season but came up short in two playoff play-in game losses to the Lakers and Grizzlies. Again, Steph showed up and showed out, carrying a maligned and inefficient roster to the brink of the playoffs. Curry finished third in the MVP race behind Nuggets center Nikola Jokic and Sixers center Joel Embiid.
Back To The Top
Coming into the 2021-22 season there was this sense that the Warriors could be a very dangerous team after a strong draft and some solid free agency moves, but it all starts and ends with Curry. At 33, fully healthy and excited to play in front of full arenas, you knew Steph was going to come back ready to get that sour taste of missing the playoffs out of his mouth.
If anybody can straighten out a shot with the quickness, it’s Chef. Everyone knew the Clippers would feel his wrath in the Dubs’ next game after the opener versus the Lakers. Curry went 10-for-10 from the floor and 5-for-5 from three, scoring 25 points in the opening quarter of the Warriors’ 115-113 win. His scoring barrage had the NBA world talking and buzzing. That perfect quarter is the second time Curry has scored at least 25 points and hit five threes in his career. The only other player to do it is his fellow “Splash Brother,” Klay Thompson.
LeBron James tweeted @StephenCurry30, “You’re sick man”
Damian Lillard: “Steph going for 75 tonight”
UConn’s Paige Buckers: “Watching Steph Curry is art”
This all comes on the heels of being named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Steph Curry on being named in top 75 list but not Klay Thompson & Draymond Green. Steph relayed that Klay said, “fuel to the fire.” pic.twitter.com/D9NI6GQjIx
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) October 22, 2021
Buckle your seatbelt, as from the looks of things Steph Curry is gonna lead the Warriors a lot further than most believed they could go, while also possibly securing his third MVP trophy. You don’t have to be a Warriors fan to appreciate a cerebral and loyal superstar doing historic things in his 13th NBA season.