San Francisco (AFP) Stephen Curry’s brightly colored “Sour Patch” shoes shrieked out loud announcing his arrival to the media. Then he took his place, tucked into that iconic number 30 jersey and stood with all his championship gear.
A cup is on its sides, and its elbows are supported on the other two sides.
The two-time MVP shows that his boast is as strong as he is heading into his 14th season in the NBA.
“The glow of heroism is real,” Curry said with a smile.
The Golden State star and NBA Finals MVP winner will turn 35 this season and remain on top of his game, ready to lead another tournament as the Warriors seek repeat.
He certainly doesn’t take any of that success for granted, knowing how difficult it is to return to the top each season – even as Bucks star Giannis Antikonmo calls him “the best player in the world”.
“And cuddle him. My 14th year. I feel like in my head I’m still getting better, trying to nurture that.” I understand it’s a long ride and we’ve been doing some defensive strategies and things like that yesterday, and I kind of felt for a second that we were still preparing for the Celtics series and the Finals because it wasn’t like that for a long time.”
Barring the fact this season, Splash Brother will bring Klay Thompson to his side from the opening tip of the NBA champions, who departed the Bay Area on Tuesday for Tokyo to face the Washington Wizards in a pair of pre-season games Friday and Saturday in Saitama, Japan.
Thompson returned on January 9 after an absence of more than two and a half years after sustaining devastating injuries. The 32-year-old Thompson has not played since tore an ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals as Toronto won the championship. While rehab from surgery for that injury, he tore his right Achilles tendon on his own in November 2020.
“I’m hungry more than ever because I still remember those two years I had to watch. I’m excited to play an entire season and show people what I can do again,” Thompson said.
Curry cherished another shorter of the season as the highlight was returning to Davidson College to celebrate his graduation and coach Bob McKillop’s retirement after 33 years at the school.
“You obviously enjoy being outside and know all the work you’ve done over the course of your career and especially the last three years,” said Carey. “Going back there was meaningful, and you accept and appreciate it. Appreciate the vibe you created with the new look team built on the core, the guys who were around the block.”
“Very excited about what it means to go into this season trying to defend, knowing there will be new challenges for everyone as a team and for everyone individually.”
Draymond Green warned of “championship hangovers” and how he would struggle to keep Golden State from feeling complacent.
One big key in the effort: Veteran striker Andre Iguodala, 38, is expected to sign and arrive the Monday before the flight.
“We’re all very proud of what we accomplished last year, but that’s in the past,” Thompson said. “The greats stay hungry, and we all have our own motives for why we want to win another one.”
Both Jordan Paul and Andrew Wiggins said they didn’t spend extra energy worrying about unstable node cases.
“I really didn’t care that much,” Paul said of landing the extension.
Green, who along with Curry, Iguodala and Thompson are core and have been in both finals going back to the 2015 championship, doesn’t expect to get a new deal himself before the season.
“I don’t think that will happen,” he said. “For me, I’m just focused on this season and being as great as I can be, knowing I can be, winning another championship and achieving my individual goals.”
Big man Kevon Looney is hoping to play all 82 games again after becoming one of only five last season – if the coaching staff agree, of course.
“That’s the goal,” he said. “As long as I feel good, make it happen.”
When told of a chromatic goal, Thompson couldn’t help but think about it in awe.
“Is it back to back?” Thomson said. “crazy.”