MVP, Warriors eye challenge of repeating as NBA champions
POSTED: Sep 28, 2015 8:52 PM ET
Stephen Curry Interview
Stephen Curry talks to the media during Warriors media day.
OAKLAND, Calif. — The world got smaller.
Stephen Curry knows it because he just spent three months gliding along the axis with arms raised in celebration. He knows the globe shrunk to fit into the palm of his hand, small enough to use for a crossover to create separation on the perimeter from some poor embarrassed defender about to get lit up, because all Curry has done since July is golf with President Obama, become a father for the second time, make the tour of network-TV talk shows on both coasts, and city hop around Asia for a marketing campaign.
What a wonderful, hectic, blessed, rewarding victory lap of an offseason. A lifetime crammed into one summer.
And now he needs to be fresh.
Day 1 of the new season as defending champion and reigning MVP, and Curry already has a challenge: Show he got enough down in the alleged offseason to be ready to again drive the Warriors into June.
Teammate Andrew Bogut, noting the Golden State whirlwind since beating the Cavaliers in the Finals, said, "It feels like the championship parade was last Tuesday." And he played for Australia in a tournament to qualify for the Olympics but mostly got to recharge. Imagine how fast the summer streaked by for Curry. He played in a POTUS foursome -- Curry shot a 76 -- had another daughter, hit China, the Philippines and Japan to promote Under Armour, and chatted with Jimmy Fallon in L.A. and Jimmy Kimmel in New York. And there were more talk shows, more appearances to help open the practice facility at Davidson, his alma mater, more other long days.
"All that stuff is fun, but at the end of the day I'm still the same person, still do the same stuff in my spare time that keeps me grounded, keeps me normal," Curry said Monday as the Warriors officially reconvened for media day in advance of opening camp Tuesday at their practice facility. "Me and my family had an opportunity to get away and spend time with ourselves and just try to be as normal as possible. It's obviously been different, especially here in the Bay Area. Going out and doing things, you get recognized a lot more. The world's kind of gotten smaller. But for the most part, the way that we kind of live and do our daily routine, we find time to get away from the game and the noise. That's helpful to handle all the good that's gone on on the court and everything we've been able to accomplish."
It was a learning experience this summer. ... But I've been able to get some rest in the last couple weeks and really mentally prepare for the journey of another nine-month season.
– Stephen Curry
This now becomes about all the Warriors figuring out how to handle the champion's spotlight, but no one more than Curry and his new status of superstar-in-demand. There are the many reasons to feel good around Warriors Ground. He is a tireless worker who puts a priority on being ready to play. He is 27, young enough to have the recovery powers that will eventually elude him. He has a coach, Steve Kerr, with a firm understanding of finding opportunities to cut back on players' minutes. And Curry is mature enough -- thanks in part to a father who lasted 16 NBA seasons -- to understand the importance of rest.
Except that it doesn't matter how Curry felt Monday. April matters, and there is no way to predict how his summer in a shrinking world will hit him when the next playoffs begin. (A lot will depend on the other Warriors. They recorded so many blowouts last season, becoming just the eighth team in league history to outscore the opposition by an average of double digits, that Curry was able to rest a lot of fourth quarters. That undoubtedly made a difference in the 2015 postseason.)
"It was a learning experience this summer," he said. "This was probably the craziest that it could be, granted, with how much traveling we did and all the events that I was at. But like I said, that never trumped the priority of being prepared for training camp. I'll kind of feel it out as you go through the next couple weeks of how my body responds and feeling the flow of training camp. But I've been able to get some rest in the last couple weeks and really mentally prepare for the journey of another nine-month season and being able to play deep into June in being fresh. I've worked hard so I'm going to rely on that preparation. And coach Kerr does a great job of managing all of that as well anyway. We learned that last year. If we go out and do our job, he's going to take care of us as players. That's what we've got to do."
They've got to keep making the world smaller.
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