Steph Curry and the Warriors do it again

(News4usonline) – Oops. They did it. Again. Go ahead and hate on them haters. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA Finals in the last eight years after closing out the Boston Celtics in six games (4-2). And it feels so good.

“We’ve got four championships,” Curry said. “God is great, the ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line.”

Curry continued, “This one hits different for sure, just knowing what the last three years have meant, what it’s been like from injuries to changing of the guard in the rosters, Wiggs coming through, our young guys carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn’t make sense to anybody when we said it, all that stuff matters.

“And now we got four championships,” Curry added. “Me, Dray, Klay, and Andre, we finally got that bad boy. It’s special. It’s special. Just all the work that went into it, the faith and belief and everybody in that locker room that’s getting to spray champagne around the locker room, everybody mattered in that process. So I’m just proud of everybody.”

Getting that proverbial monkey off his back should make Curry proud of himself and what he and his teammates had to achieve to get that fourth championship ring. Let’s start with how they got here in the first place. Golden State was not even the best team in the Western Conference, finishing third behind the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies. 

They had to beat the Denver Nuggets, Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks just to get to the NBA Finals. And then Curry and the Warriors did their thing. After falling behind in the series to Boston, 2-1, the Warriors won three straight games to clinch the series, including beating Celtics twice at TD Garden.

In those two games, Curry earned his keep as the Finals MVP with 77 points. And after shooting blanks from 3-point range (0-9) in Game 5,  Curry made 6 of 11 attempts from beyond the arc on his way to scoring 34 points in Golden State’s 103-90 series wrap-up victory.

“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, this last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional roller coaster on and off the floor; and you’re carrying all of that on a daily basis to try to realize a dream and a goal like we did tonight,” remarked Curry. 

“And you get goosebumps just thinking about, you know, all those snapshots and episodes that we went through to get back here, individually, collectively,” he added. “And that’s why I said I think this championship hits different. That’s why I have so many emotions, and still will, just because of what it took to get back here.”

As the game wound down to its final moments, the emotional toll of what the team has had to go through the last few seasons weighed on Curry as tears of joy streamed down his cheeks. 

“And the fact that when we started this season, the conversations about who we were as a team and what we were capable of, clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero of how many championships we would have going forward because of everything that we went through,” said Curry. “So we hear all that, and you carry it all and you try to maintain your purpose, not let it distract you, but you carry that weight and to get here, it all comes out. It’s special.”

Just two years ago, Curry and the Warriors sat at the bottom of the NBA food chain with the worst record in the league. During that 2019-20 NBA season, the Warriors won a whopping 15 games. The Dubs also lost one-half of the Splash Brothers in Klay Thompson, who would miss two full seasons because of injuries.

It appeared that the Warriors after Kevin Durant squeezed out the second of his two NBA Finals MVP awards before he abandoned ship to go to the Brooklyn Nets, might have seen their best days as a collective unit. Golden State’s dynasty run of playing in five NBA Finals and winning three titles was on the brink of going nowhere fast.

The Covid-19 pandemic struck. The Los Angeles Lakers won the championship. The Milwaukee Bucks followed with a title of their own. In the meantime, Curry and the Warriors were just trying to get all the pieces together again to make another return to glory. 

In a wink of an eye, the Warriors were afterthoughts in the NBA. Curry and the Warriors would miss the playoffs for two straight seasons. And the last time they played in the NBA Finals was after the 2018-19 season when they lost in six games to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors. So, you’ll have to excuse Curry after he let loose of what he felt out on the floor once it dawned on him he was a champion one more time. 

“It was definitely overwhelming,” explained Curry. “It was surreal because you know how much you went through to get back to this stage, and nobody, unless you’ve been on that floor, you just grind day-in and day-out.

“Talking about just me personally, my workouts from the off-season last year when we lost in the play-in tournament, it’s been a year and six days that I started the process of getting ready for this season. It all paid off. Didn’t know how it was going to happen. Didn’t know what the environment was going to be like. You imagine what the emotions are going to be like, but it hits different.”

Featured Image: Stephen Curry scored 11 points during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game played at Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. Curry’s squad, Team Stephen, lost by three points, 148-145, against Team LeBron. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline