Entering his 12th professional season, Steph Curry has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, he has displayed quite the opposite.
After missing nearly the entirety of the 2019-2020 season with a broken hand, the two-time NBA MVP has surged back to dominate the league once more. Curry will turn 33 next month and looks as spry as ever, leading many to marvel at his ability to seemingly defy his age.
Curry's long-time trainer, Brandon Payne, isn't surprised though, and told the San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Osler he believes the six-time All-Star is only going to improve.
"He’s continuing to get better, and he’s going to continue to get better for a while,” Payne, who has been Curry's trainer since 2011, said to The Chronicle. “That (progress) isn’t slowing down any time soon. Stephen is, at 32 and 33, where a lot of guys are at age 27, 28. He’s still getting bigger, he’s still getting stronger, he’s still getting faster, so his improvement’s going to continue. “A lot of guys, they just get to that peak physical level a little bit earlier, then they kind of top out. Stephen hasn’t topped out yet.”
With Klay Thompson out for the season and a crop of young and relatively inexperienced players on the Warriors' roster, Curry has had to make adjustments to his game from seasons prior. He's spending a lot more time on ball and capitalizing on many of his scoring opportunities off the dribble. He's not a true shooter per se, but one that creates his own shots based off what the defense, and his own team, allows.
That alone is a testament to the kind of player Curry is. Even as he approaches 33, he continues to invent new ways to elevate his game.
“The reason you’re seeing that a little more now is he’s having to do more than he usually has off the dribble,” Payne said. “That’s not something you want to lean on all the time to get shots. Those are difficult shots and it’s kind of taxing to go through that to create that kind of space.”
Still, Curry's performances haven't seemed demanding in the slightest. They actually seem quite effortless. Take Tuesday night's showing for example, which coach Steve Kerr and Draymond Green compared to the likes of Michael Jordan.
Or the game prior, when Curry scored 57 points, with Kerr noting the star has "never played better."
At an age where most elite athletes are showing signs of wear and tear, Curry is only showing signs of elevating his game. That's a scary sight for opposing teams, but an obviously welcome one for Golden State.