HAYWARD -- It’s good to be the king, simultaneously atop two mountains, one physically and the other metaphorically, as Stephen Curry was on Tuesday.
Weeks removed from winning back-to-back NBA championships with the Warriors, Curry stood at the podium at Stonebrae Country Club in the Hayward hills, overlooking most of the Bay Area, and chatted about today’s NBA and well as his golf game, including the heights it may never reach.
Despite his passion for golf -- he’s playing this weekend in the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae for the second consecutive year -- Curry reiterated that he has no plans to pursue playing at the professional level after retiring from the NBA.
Curry on the dynamic movement in the NBA this summer and the effect on the Warriors:
“If you go through history, there’s has been blockbuster moves and trades every year, or most years,” he said. “Every team is trying to beat the champs, so nothing is really surprising. You just sit back and survey the league, survey what’s going on, and how we can get back on top this coming year and three-peat.
“There’s been some big names, obviously, with LeBron (James) and other guys moving. We need to control what we can control and be a better team this year. We have a couple new additions, so we’ve got to hit the ground running in September, in training camp. As every year is, chasing a championship, a different year and you can’t just carbon copy what you did last year and be successful.”
On LeBron’s I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, and commitments made by players around the league to various civic and social causes:
“It was amazing to see,” Curry said. “Every NBA player is trying to find a way to impact the city the play in or wherever they’re from or communities at large and at-risk youth or whatever the case is. It’s very visible what guys are doing. And sometimes, there is stuff that happens behind the scenes that nobody knows about.”
On whether he shot a 67 at Stonebrae, as claimed by Warriors teammate Andre Igoudala, on an off day during the postseason and whether he can replicate such a round under tournament conditions:
“I hope so,” Curry said. “Every golfer hopes you can repeat (their) best round on whatever course you play, try to repeat those swings if you’re in a groove. You never know. So I’m going to use the next 48 hours to get right. Get in as many swings as I can, come with high expectations on Thursday and see what happens.”
On the feeling of that 67 at Stonebrae, perhaps his best round ever:
“It’s kind of like when you’re shooting (a basketball). You don’t really think about much. You’re just shooting. It’s the same thing out here. When you have days like that, it’s always fun. That’s what keeps you coming back.”
On his hopes this weekend and whether he can make the cut this year, after missing it by 11 shots last summer:
“As a true golf nut, whether I can execute it or not is another question. But I feel like I can shave off 11 shots. Who knows what the cut will be this year? But that’s my goal.
“I feel like I could use the experience last year and the few chances I get to play tournament golf to my advantage and see what happens. I’ve just got to get off to a better start and not hit it into a cupholder or a golf cart on the first shot.”
On the difference competing at the American Century Championship Celebrity tournament in Lake Tahoe, as he has in recent years, and battling players on the developmental Web.com tour, such as at Stonebrae this weekend:
“In Tahoe, I feel like I’m one of the better guys out there, so it’s a different kind of confidence,” Curry said.
“Out here, I know I’m in over my head in terms of talent and preparation.”
It appears, then, that finding his way atop the mountain representing golf may be a bit too much for even Stephen Curry.