Warriors

Presented By montepoole
Warriors

OAKLAND -- His third child, and first son, arrived in June, a couple weeks before his unofficial occupational therapist departed for a job 2,500 miles away. Then, early this month, his longtime sergeant-at-arms retired.

It was, for Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, a summer of dramatic change. He’s going to need time to adjust and recover.

If history is any indication, he will adjust and recover and probably vault himself right back into the thick of the MVP conversation that did not include him in either of the past two seasons.

After entering the NBA in 2009 as a skinny, fresh-faced rookie met with dysfunctional franchise and a wall of skepticism, including some from his own teammates, Curry needed only three seasons to lead the league in 3-pointers and evolve into a team leader.

One season after that, in 2012-13, Curry was the centerpiece of a team that won a playoff series for the second time in 22 years.

When Mark Jackson was dismissed as Warriors coach in May 2014, Curry expressed his disappointment -- then responded by coming back the next season and winning his first MVP award.

When four-time scoring champ Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in 2016, it took Curry about three months to remember and apply the best of his prodigious gifts. He led the NBA in 3-pointers for the fifth consecutive season.

We all remember the ankle misfortunes once thought as a threat to his career?

Curry, 30, has built his Hall of Fame profile by relentlessly subduing doubts and obstacles, and them smashing them into pieces tiny enough to be absorbed by soil.

 

Though he probably relishes the challenge of a household with three children ranging from 3 months old to 6 years old, Curry concedes that the 2018-19 season begins with a foreign feel.

“It’s different,” he said Wednesday. “But a wise person told me, 'Different isn’t always worse.’ You’ve just got to figure it out.”

For the first time in his career, Curry will be without Ralph Walker, who managed Warriors team security as well as Curry’s personnel security before retiring.

“I’m going to miss a lot,” Curry said. “I don’t have enough time to tell about everything. (Walker has) been a stable figure around here ever since I’ve been here. He’s basically a part of my family in terms of how close we got.”

For the first time in three seasons, Curry will be without Chelsea Lane, the team’s physical performance specialist who often served as his personal healer, psychologist and sounding board.

“It is weird,” Curry said. “You build a relationship with somebody that, every day, when you come into practice, come into games, sometimes they know what’s going on before you even tell them. Me and Chelsea had a long year, last year, in terms of the three injuries I had. So it’s different. You’ve got to get used to it.”

Realizing what lies ahead -- and having missed 31 games last season due to injuries -- Curry took a more measured approach to his usually hectic summer schedule. He still toured Asia and England, but he spent the majority of his time working out and being a father.

“In terms of conditioning and strength work and all that kind of stuff, as you get older, in order to maintain, you can’t really take that much time off,” he said. “That’s been my experience.

“I had a lot of consistent work, which had me feeling really good physically and mentally coming into the season.”

The only man to win the league’s MVP award by unanimous vote enters his 10th season feeling healthy and seeking ways to improve. The NBA has been warned.