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Stephen Curry calls latest ankle surgery a “relief”

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Stephen Curry wanted to get back on the court this season, but five weeks of rehab on his recurring sprained ankle could not get it done. He had to go back under the knife.

Curry didn’t talk with the media through the rehab process or after the surgery in April, that was until last weekend when he broke the silence to the San Francisco Chronicle (via CSNBayArea.com).

“It was a tough one. I went through diligent rehab for five weeks, but I ran out of time to return this season,” Curry said from a charity event in Oakland. “We didn’t want any questions going into next year, so I could play with a clear mind….”

He expects to be fully healthy when training camp opens in October, something he couldn’t have said with confidence before the latest surgery. Curry had surgery to repair the outside two ligaments in the ankle last May, but he re-injured the ankle in December and missed 40 games, including the final 28, with five severe ankle sprains.

Curry wanted to avoid a second surgery, but he and team’s medical staff came to mutual agreement near the end of the season that a procedure was needed to identify the source of the recurring sprains. He had been told that the two surgically repaired ligaments were fine and that the new problem was most likely the tendon at the bottom of the foot.

The Warriors are banking on Curry and newly acquired center Andrew Bogut (fractured left ankle) being healthy and ready to go next fall. If those two can stay healthy, play close to their potential and blend in with Klay Thompson, David Lee and the rest of the roster the Warriors could be a playoff team in the West.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at NBA.com.

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.