BOSTON — With seconds left in Stephen Curry’s NBA season, he found his father Dell sitting on the bottom line.he goes hug himand then fell to the courtroom in tears.
“Surrealism,” Curry said. “I just wanted to seize the moment because it was special.”
In six games in the NBA Finals, Curry provided the Golden State Warriors with a range of feats from the extraordinary to the sublime. He squeezed past the defender’s wall for up and down layups and stepped back jumpers. He fascinated some fans while demoralizing others. He seeks the spotlight, then delivers.
He effectively turned the court into his personal theater and the Celtics into his helpless foil, putting on performance after performance over a two-week stretch with the only flaw being almost Everyone can start looking forward to the end – Curry is off the stage again as a champion.
As the Golden State Warriors beat Boston 103-90 on Thursday for their fourth championship in eight years, Curry, 34, reflected on the long journey back to the top: injuries and losses, doubters and uncertainties sex. He also recalled the exact moment he started preparing for the start of the season – 371 days ago.
“The last two months of the playoffs, the last three years, the last 48 hours — on and off the court, every bit has been an emotional roller coaster,” Curry said, “and you carry all of that on your back. Every day is trying to achieve a dream and a goal, like we did tonight.”
These numbers tell a story that deserves emphasis. In the series, Curry averaged 31.2 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from 3-point range. He was unanimously voted the Finals Most Valuable Player.
“He took us,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said. “We came here as champions.”
But there’s also an artistry to Curry’s work in the series, a poignant reminder of what he’s done to reshape how fans — and even other players — think about the game. The way he stretches the pitch with his star shot. He uses the way post players create space through the pick-and-roll. The way he boosted the self-esteem of little players around.
“When I go home in Milwaukee and watch my AAU team play and practice, everyone wants to be Stephen,” Golden State’s Kevin Looney said. “Everybody wants to shoot threes and I’m like: ‘Man, you have to work harder to shoot like him. I see him every day.'”
Of course, there were two seasons when some of the joy was lost after Golden State’s disastrous, scarred journey to the 2019 Finals. The Warriors struggled in a slow rebuild.
The team reassembled the parts this season without any guarantees. Curry missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a sprained left foot before aggravating the injury in Game 3 of the Finals. All he did in Game 4 was 43 points to help Golden State go on a two-game winning streak.
He proved mortal in Game 5, missing nine of his 3-pointers, but his supporting role filled the void. That includes Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, who developed their game during the Golden State Warriors’ no-offseason in the playoffs and have been integral to this postseason.
“Our young guys are convinced we can get back to this stage and win,” Curry said. “Even though it doesn’t make sense to anyone when we say it, all of this is important.”
For Game 6 on Thursday, Curry erupted into a full buffet. He used a fake to send Celtics’ Al Horford to a row of expensive seats. He lures defenders into traps and passes the ball to cutting teammates. And after the big fight in the third quarter, he glared at everyone and pointed to his ring finger. (Translation: He’s ready to buy more jewelry.)
Curry got emotional when Boston coach Ime Udoka called his reserves from the bench with just over a minute left, conceding the series and the championship. Curry stood alone in midfield, seemingly laughing and crying at the same time, a feeling of ecstasy.
“You can imagine what the emotion would be like, but it’s going to be different,” he said.
In a sports world filled with debate shows, uninformed opinions and buzz on social media, two asterisks — unfair asterisks — seem to be trailing Curry like smoke. The first is that he neither helped the team win a championship without Kevin Durant nor beat an all-out finals opponent. Second, he wasn’t named Finals MVP
Whether he cares or not, Curry effectively dispelled both of those claims against the Celtics, a team with all of its young stars in uniform, even Marcus, the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. Marcus Smart spent most of the series with his arm tucked into Curry’s jersey.
In the case of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, there was only one accomplishment missing from Curry’s resume: an Olympic gold medal. (It’s worth noting that Cole coaches the U.S. men’s national team.)
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” Cole said deadpan. “Honestly, the whole Finals MVP thing? I guess he’s had such a perfect career and that’s the only thing we can find. So it’s nice to have that box checked for him. But it’s really hard for me to think it’s actually against him. of.”
After the game, as Golden State players and coaches began to gather on stage to hand out trophies, Curry hugged them one by one.
“Back to the top, 30!” Rooney said, referring to Curry’s jersey number.
Afterwards, as Curry walked to the sidewalk, lingering fans clamored to get closer to the court, to get close to Curry until he disappeared from view. As he held the Finals MVP trophy aloft, he held a victory cigar and shoved it into the sky once, twice, three times.
No one can miss it.