With Kevin Durant bolting for Brooklyn and Klay Thompson sidelined for months with a torn ACL, the fate of the Warriors' 2019-20 season will fall on the shoulders of Steph Curry. It will reside on Curry to lead the five-time defending Western Conference champions back to the playoffs for the eighth straight year, something that not everyone thinks he can do.
But regardless of whether Curry leads the Warriors to the promised land or not, his résumé speaks for itself. Three championships, two MVPs and countless NBA records will do that for you.
Well, unless you’re ESPN analyst Damon Jones.
Jones went on “First Take” on Friday morning and was asked which player has more to prove in the 2019-20 NBA season: Curry or Rockets guard James Harden.
“Steph Curry,” Jones said. “KD is gone. Klay Thompson is going to be out maybe four, five, six months. [Steph] has to show up. He has to show why when the 'pundits say' this is Steph Curry’s team, or his franchise.
“And he has never, never, took a team to the playoffs without two All-Stars on the team. James Harden has. So for me, that’s where the pressure lies. He has to get this team to the playoffs with limited, limited, players.”
OK Damon, let’s get this straight. Curry, a three-time champion who has eliminated Harden’s Rockets in four of the last five postseasons, has more to prove this year than Harden? Curry -- with Durant injured -- scored 33 points in the second half of Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals to end Houston’s season … but somehow he still needs to show more than Harden, who has wilted in the playoffs every year?
As Veronica Corningstone famously said in the movie “Anchorman:" There’s just no way that’s correct.
On Jones’ second point, well, he’s just flat-out wrong. Curry (somehow) was not selected as an All-Star in the 2012-13 season -- teammate David Lee was -- but Steph still led the Dubs to their first playoff berth since 2007, which included an upset of the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.
In 2013-14, Curry was the lone All-Star on the Warriors and helped them make the playoffs again, where they fell to the Clippers in seven games in the first round.
That offseason, Mark Jackson was fired as Golden State's coach, Steve Kerr took the reigns, and Curry’s rise to a superstar -- and his teammates Thompson and Draymond Green’s ascension to All-Stars -- unfolded as we know it.
Another day, another analyst who gets it wrong about Steph Curry.
What else does the man have to do for it to end?