It was obvious at points in the playoffs that Stephen Curry was not 100 percent healthy. He slipped on a wet spot on the floor in Houston, sprained his right knee, missed some time, and was not quite right the rest of the way. He still had monster games and stretches of elite play (that’s how recovery from injury goes, it’s not linear), but wasn’t doing the little things quite as well.
Of course, Curry and the Warriors largely denied it until after the playoffs ended.
Curry, during his tour of China, finally admitted he was not right in an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell, but added it didn’t matter.
“I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares? I was playing. I was out there trying to help my team win and that’s all that really matters. I’ve taken advantage of the summer to get right and I still have a little bit of work to go.”
Curry’s health wasn’t the reason the Warriors dropped a 3-1 series lead. It was Draymond Green not being able to keep his hands to himself, it was LeBron James finding another gear, it was Andrew Bogut getting injured, it was Kyrie Irving not shying away from the big moments. We tend to like simple answers when reality is a stew of a lot of different flavors coming together — there is no one answer.
Those final three games then the Warriors adding Kevin Durant this summer flipped the national narrative for a lot of people: LeBron was the hero bringing a title to his hometown, the Warriors are the superteam villains.
“I kind of laugh at that,” Curry said. “Obviously how the Finals ended [and] what happened, that’s sports. That’s what you love about it. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Obviously it stinks to not win, but playing for a championship for two years in a row has been an amazing, amazing journey and I don’t think it’s over.
“All that narrative around our team, how people view us, doesn’t really matter to us. We are who we are and we’re championship contenders going forward.”
More than contenders, the Warriors are the team to beat heading into next season. If you had to bet the Finals would be won by the Warriors or the field, which would you take? I think it’s 50/50.
Curry said he is not worried about that pressure on his team, but we’ll see how they handle it when there are early stumbles and some corners of the Warriors fan base freak out. That’s when the first test comes.