Golden State guard Stephen Curry back in basketball mode after busy summer
09/05/2013 8:39 PM
09/05/2013 9:44 PM
Stephen Curry shot for two days this week before he noticed a new plaque hanging above the court at the Golden State Warriors’ practice facility recognizing his NBA-record 272 made 3-pointers last season. Then he looked at the area around the sign placed near the entrance to the locker room.
“There’s space for another one,” he said.
Curry’s attention had been focused on another number written on a board inside the team’s training room. The figure represents the number of wins the Warriors want to accomplish this season.
“I won’t tell you the number,” Curry said. “It has a five in front of it.”
After a whirlwind summer around the world, Curry refuses to rest on recent achievements. Along with co-captain David Lee, Curry has organized voluntary team workouts for the second straight September, which proved pivotal to Golden State’s strong start and surprising playoff run last season.
At least 10 players have shown, allowing for 5-on-5 scrimmages. And for the first time since 2010, Curry is not rehabbing from surgery on his troublesome right ankle, meaning he can be a full participant.
“It’s a tough thing to wake up every morning and know that you’ve got to go through this grueling process to get back healthy and then you have to work on your game and then you have to get back into shape,” Curry said. “I kind of skipped those first two steps.”
While he worked on his game when he could, Curry tied to take advantage of the extra opportunities this summer following his breakout playoff performances.
Curry co-hosted the NBA Social Media Awards. He participated in a commercial with Houston Rockets guard James Harden. He visited Tanzania to deliver bed nets to African refugees with the Nothing But Nets foundation, which raises awareness and funding to fight malaria and other mosquito-spread diseases.
Curry and his wife, Ayesha, also got matching tattoos on their right wrists of the Bible verse “1 Corinthians 13:8” inked in Hebrew, which begins: “Love never fails.”
The attention and demand for Curry this summer certainly increased. Even at his sister’s high school graduation in Charlotte, he said the opening speaker made note of his presence.
“She was embarrassed, which was the best part about it,” he said.
Family time also has spread back to the Bay Area. Curry’s younger brother, former Duke standout Seth Curry, is competing for a roster spot with the team in training camp. He also is living with Curry, his wife and the couple’s 13-month-old daughter, Riley.
“I told him he might as well save up on the rent,” Curry said.
But not everything is free.
“If he’s eating a lot, he’s got to do the dishes. I’m sure my wife and I will want a date night one of these nights and we'll ask him to watch Riley. I’m looking forward to seeing his face when I tell him that,” Curry said.
The competition – and expectations – for everybody will certainly be higher this season.
The Warriors went 47-35 to earn the Western Conference’s sixth seed last season, beating Denver in six games before the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs knocked Golden State out in six games. The Warriors had only made the playoffs once since 1994 and hadn’t won two games beyond the first round since 1977.
Every starter – Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut – will be back. The Warriors also signed free agent swingman Andre Iguodala to a $48 million, four-year deal hoping he will be the missing piece needed for a championship run.
With training camp not set to open until Sept. 29, count Curry among those who couldn’t wait to get to work.
“When you get back into that facility, you get that spirit back,” Curry said. “The season’s around the corner. We want to pace ourselves this next month before training camp, but ready for it to get started.”
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