Steph Curry is entering new territory as he begins his 12th season on the Warriors.
The Dubs’ dynasty crumbled last year and it’s a new era in 2020-21. Without his Splash Brother Klay Thompson, Curry’s top sidekicks now are Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. How far can Curry take the team this year?
During the latest episode of Dubs Talk with Grant Liffmann, 13-year NBA veteran and Talkin’ Blazers co-host Channing Frye discussed how important this season is for Curry’s legacy.
“This year, there’s a lot of questions, not of, can he play, but can he adjust his game without those all-stars to make everyone else better,” Frye said. “I’m excited to see it, I think he can do it. I think the culture can do it and Steve Kerr can put them in the right situations.”
Frye was part of the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers squad that topped the 73-win Warriors in the NBA Finals. The next season, Kevin Durant joined Golden State and the team went to the next three finals, winning two titles.
But with greatness comes doubters. Curry has become an early target for criticism this year as the Warriors are off to a slow 2-3 start. Frye said Curry needs to prove he can still win without a supporting cast of superstars.
“Yes they won championships, I guess that’s all that matters,” Frye said. “But I think at the end, I’m just saying this as someone on the outside, it almost looks like it diminishes everything that was accomplished beforehand. It takes away the lore of the Warriors. Until the Warriors go back without him, it’s like, ‘Well, you had to have a stacked team with five Hall of Famers on it.’ … This is the question, and this is unfair, but can Steph do that now?”
For comparison’s sake, LeBron James has brought his teams to the NBA Finals on 10 different occasions. Granted, he played alongside Hall of Famers like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat, but some of those Cleveland squads were not star-studded at all. Frye said Curry has also had the benefit of continuity playing alongside Klay Thompson and Draymond Green since 2013.
“He’s had the same compadres, the three amigos, for what is this now, six, seven years now?” Frye said. “Maybe longer than that. Right? So, Bron has never had a teammate for more than four years, other than James Jones. For me, Steph doesn’t need anybody’s acknowledgment, not a player, not a fan, not a [member of the] media. He’s a two-time MVP, he’s the best shooter in the history of the NBA, he’s a three-time champion. He has all the accolades he needs. I think all he needs to do now is to continue to show that he’s a winner even when situations aren’t right.”
Either way, Curry and LeBron will go down as two of the game’s greatest to ever play. But if Curry can bring the Warriors back to prominence in the stacked Western Conference this year, it would be a nice addition to his already lengthy Hall of Fame resume.
“He needs to make sure that this team wins, because we know this is not your 2016, 2015 team,” Frye said. “But if he can make this team win, and be competitive on a nightly basis.”