Warriors

Steph Curry poised to do big things off the court: 'The contract does...'

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AP

Steph Curry poised to do big things off the court: 'The contract does...'

He transcends his sport, his name synonymous with incredible talent in an unimposing physique and an image so wholesome that even now, nearly a decade into a soaring NBA career, some question its authenticity.

Where does Stephen Curry, comfortable with his celebrity and armed with a contract worth more than $200 million, take his star?

Does he fall into the benign complacency that defined Michael Jordan during his fabulous career? Does Curry take more of a David Robinson route and focus primarily on a specific element -- education -- in hopes of making a difference? Does he choose the Magic Johnson approach, investing in communities often shunned by the wealthy?

Or might Curry follow the path of the late Arthur Ashe -- who spoke softly, sensibly and with absolute dignity on human rights -- and stick his toes a wee bit deeper into the treacherous sea of sociopolitical activism?

The global impact door, and its floor, is as open to a sports superstar now as it may ever be. And here is Curry, an athlete of such universal adoration and insane national popularity that everywhere he goes folks hang on his mere presence. A generation after kids wanted to be like Mike, the young dream of emulating Steph.

Curry senses this. Moreover, he is affected by it. One month after becoming the highest-paid team athlete in American history, with an average annual salary of $40.2 million over the next five years, his mind is filled with relevant questions about his next steps, including one that speaks of his well-documented selflessness and clear understanding of his status:

How can I help others?

Curry’s concern along those lines was apparent this week in Walnut Creek during his SC30 Select camp for some of the nation’s top prep players.

“I don’t want to get too deep into it, but for the last couple years I’ve been trying to figure out how I can make the most impact off the court, on a consistent and impactful basis going forward,” Curry said.

“Obviously keying in on the Bay Area, specifically, to hopefully leave a lasting impact for all the good that has happened in my life and to my family since I’ve been here over the last eight years, and over the next five to really impact the community for the better,” he added. “And use my platform -- not only just dollars -- but my platform and connections and ideas to make that happen.

“The contract does put more of a responsibility on myself to make that happen. And I’m obviously aware of that.”

Curry, 29, already has created and supported numerous charities and causes that help the less fortunate, including his Nothing But Nets campaign, the Animal Rescue Foundation, the United Nations Foundation and work with the NBA Cares program. The 2013-14 NBA Community Assist award winner, he is scheduled to participate in the fourth annual Athletes vs. Cancer flag football game this week in Burbank.

Oh, there is plenty more that stands as testimony to Curry’s character and intentions. For five years running, he personally appeared at an Oakland church to provide food and more for hundreds of underprivileged families through the Feed The Children foundation. We’re but a few months removed from Curry auctioning off two pairs of autographed shoes for $45,201, with every cent going to survivors of the December 2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland.

Make-A-Wish? Of course, as well as seriously ill children unaffiliated with that particular foundation.

We know where Curry’s heart is. We see it all the time.

We also know Curry will go nowhere near the naked self-absorption that trapped Floyd Mayweather, or the willful isolation that often separated Barry Bonds as he smashed the game of baseball. Curry is too committed to his faith to allow himself to fall victim to such vanity.

What we don’t yet know -- and what he himself is trying to determine -- is how involved and on what scale. How far does he wish to extend his reach?

Though Curry tends to be careful with his public comments, he will speak out on issues about which he feels strongly. He has, for instance, made it clear he is not a fan of the current president. He has expressed his dismay with the so-called “bathroom bill” in his home state of North Carolina.

The implication, for now, is that Curry, for now, is thinking first of the area he calls home. It’s where his star took flight. It’s his comfort zone. He is a spectacular basketball player who goes beyond the game yet yearns to do even more.

“I have a great team around me that’s going to help me do that,” Curry said. “There’s a huge opportunity and potential to not only win championships and give our fans amazing memories, but also do some really, really good in the community -- more than I’ve done up until this point.”

Curry’s everyman appeal and common touch allows virtually unlimited influence. He will be involved. He will help people. We’re about to discover just how much.

Warriors' Steph Curry to fund Howard University golf teams for six years

Warriors' Steph Curry to fund Howard University golf teams for six years

Warriors star Steph Curry is considered one of the greatest shooters ever, but he's also known to dish some pretty sweet assists. Perhaps his best one yet comes off the court.

Curry announced Monday that he will financially support Howard University's golf teams for the next six years. The historically black university hasn't had a golf team since the 1970s, and now plans to have men's and women's teams beginning in the 2020-21 season. 

"This is a pretty exciting day. To be honest, I've been looking forward to this for a very long time, since January I should say," Curry said at a news conference Monday held at the school. 

The two-time MVP became interested in helping bring golf back to the school after meeting with Howard senior and golfer Otis Ferguson IV while Curry visited the campus to watch a documentary in January. Curry honored Ferguson on Monday and expressed how important of a role the student played in bringing golf back for the Bison. 

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Curry played on his high school golf team and is an avid player of the sport to this day. He has played with President Barack Obama as well multiple celebrity tournaments. Curry even competed on an exemption at the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic in 2017 and 2018.

Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says

Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says

There is not yet an official timeline for Klay Thompson’s return to the Warriors lineup, but his father provided a pretty good update the other day.

Mychal Thompson, who accompanied Klay out of Oracle Arena after the shooting guard sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in Game 6 of The Finals, indicated his son may be able to resume moderate basketball activities by the end of the calendar year.

“He’s walking normally and he’s very optimistic and enthusiastic about getting back late next season,” Thompson said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider podcast.

“Once he gets back up to the bay and is around the team and he’s working out . . . he probably won’t be on the court doing fullcourt drills until late December or January. So, he’s got quite a ways to go. The main thing is to stay dedicated and diligent in your rehab and just continue to work hard and keep that motivation to get back on the court with his teammates.”

Thompson sustained the injury on June 13 and underwent surgery on July 2. With a typical recovery period falling anytime between six months and nine months, his father’s projection is within range.

Mychal even offered a comparison: Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, who had surgery in February 2017. LaVine five months later (in July) announced himself ahead of schedule. Four months later, he was throwing down windmill dunks in full-contact practices.

When LaVine did not return until January, it was speculated that he could have come back sooner if the Bulls weren’t committed to tanking.

There is no questioning that LaVine aced his recovery.

“Modern medicine has advanced so much since 10, 15, 20 years ago,” Mychal Thompson said. “Guys come back from this injury and are normal. You can look at a bunch of players in the league now who have suffered that injury and have come back because they’ve dedicated themselves to their rehab. And they come back as if nothing ever happened.

“Doctors are so good now. Modern medicine is so good at repairing these athletes. That’s the way I talked to Klay. You’re going to be fine. Look at Zach LaVine. He had the same injury and is as bouncy as ever because guys like that work hard to come back. (Klay) will come back stronger than ever.”

Thompson’s injury led some to wonder if the Warriors might reduce the proposed max contract offer once he became a free agent. They didn’t. Thompson last month signed a five-year pact worth $190 million.

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“We never worried about that, because (Warriors CEO) Joe Lacob and management have been so loyal to their core players and what they have meant to that franchise,” Mychal Thompson said. “And with this injury, every doctor assured Klay and the Warriors that he was going to come back as good as ever.”

The Warriors would happily accept that and remain hopeful that Thompson will be able to return to game action sometime in February or March.