The NBA’s Back, But What Has Steph Curry Been Up To?
This will be the first NBA Finals since 2014 to not the include Golden State Warriors
According to a recent profile by The New York Times, Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry has “major FOMO” about missing out on the NBA Bubble in Orlando.
When the specifics of the bubble were hashed out, a total of 22 teams were invited, so the league could finish its “regular season” (by including any team that had been in reasonable contention) before beginning the playoffs on August 17. Only eight teams weren’t invited, and most of them — the Timberwolves, Hawks, Pistons, Cavaliers, Knicks, Bulls, and Hornets — had had seasons well below .500, as typical cellar-dwellers of the Eastern and Western Conferences.
But that list also includes Curry’s Warriors, a team that was in five straight NBA Finals, dating back to 2014. During that span, the franchise went from an easy-to-love, homegrown upstart, to the winningest team of all time, to a club beset by locker room disputes, social media shade and injury. In the process, the team revolutionized the way the modern NBA game is played, remained a constant foil for LeBron James, and sold a ton of jerseys.
For now, though, Curry is stuck watching NBA bubble contests at home, especially Dallas Mavericks games. (His brother Seth Curry plays for the Mavs.) The Warriors went 15-50 this year after losing Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, trading Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies, and losing both Klay Thompson and Curry to injury. Golden State’s only star to remain relatively healthy — Draymond Green — was somewhat useless without the usual cast of characters around him. His game relies on hustle stats and facilitation, not putting up 45 points to put a game away.
Some pundits have speculated that the Warriors could bounce right back next year, and they may be right. The Warriors traded for former first-overall pick Andrew Wiggins during the season and have a lottery pick coming up. But more importantly, all their top guns — including Curry — are going to enter a season well-rested for the first time in a long time. Curry told the Times: “Our roster kind of speaks for itself in terms of what me, Klay and Draymond have been through, and what we’ve got left in the tank. But it’s on us to use this time wisely.”
Without the bubble, that means weekday workouts at the Warriors practice facility, more family time, an opportunity to reflect on the movement for social justice, and recently, an outing to the PGA Championship, where Curry got to talk shop with champion Collin Morikawa. It isn’t a lot of basketball, but for the star guard — and the Warriors as a whole — that could end up being a good thing.
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