Stephen Curry left his critics speechless

BOSTON. Seconds from the end of Stephen Curry’s NBA season, he spotted his father, Dell, sitting on one of the baselines. He approached hug himthen fell into court in tears.

“Surreal,” Curry said. “I just wanted to enjoy the moment because it was so special.”

Over six games in the NBA Finals, Curry provided Golden State with a narrow set of accomplishments that ranged from from extraordinary to sublime. He squeezed through the walls of defenders for up and down shots and pulled back for disappearing shots. He delighted some fans and demoralized others. He strove to be the center of attention and then performed.

He effectively turned the venue into his personal theater and the Celtics into his helpless rivals, putting on performance after performance for two weeks, the only downside of which was that almost everyone could begin to look forward to the finale—Curry was leaving the stage like a champion once again. .

After Golden State beat Boston 103-90 on Thursday to claim their fourth title in eight seasons, Curry, 34, spoke of the long road back to the top: injury as well as lopsided losses, doubters and uncertainty. He also recalled the exact moment he started preparing for the start of this season – 371 days ago.

“These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, these last 48 hours, it’s all been an emotional rollercoaster on and off the court,” Curry said, “and you carry it all on a daily basis to try and realize the dream and goal like we did tonight.”

The numbers tell a story, and they deserve to be highlighted. In that series, Curry averaged 31.2 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 48.2 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from three-point range. He was unanimously selected as the Finals’ Most Valuable Player.

“He carried us,” said Golden State’s Draymond Green, “and we’re here as champions.”

But it was artistry in Curry’s work in the series too, and it was a profound reminder of everything he did to change the way fans – and even other players – think about the game. How he stretches the court with his interplanetary shooting. The way he uses post players to create a pick and roll space. The way he boosted the self-esteem of small players around the world.

“When I get home to Milwaukee and watch my AAU team play and practice, everyone wants to be the Stephs,” says Golden State. Kevon Looney said. “Everyone wants to throw triples and I like, ‘Dude, you have to work a little harder to shoot like him. I see him every day.” ”

For two seasons, of course, after the Golden State disaster, Injury-stained trip to the 2019 finalSome of that joy was missing. The Warriors fought for a slow rebuild.

This season the team collected in parts, but there were no guarantees. Curry missed the final 12 games of the regular season with a sprained left leg, then aggravated the injury in Game 3 of the Finals. All he did in Game 4 was 43 points to help Golden State tie the two-game series.

He showed he was mortal in Game 5, missing all nine 3-point attempts, but his supporting cast filled the void. Among them: Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, who developed their games during Golden State’s non-playoff break and have been indispensable this postseason.

“Our young guys believed we could come back to this stage and win,” Curry said. “And even if it didn’t make sense to anyone when we said it, it all matters.”

In Game 6 on Thursday, Curry had a full buffet. He used a fake pump to send Al Horford from the Celtics towards an expensive row of seats. He lured defenders into traps and gave lightning passes to teammates. And after a lot of excitement in the third quarter, he looked at the crowd and pointed to the ring finger. (Translation: He was ready for more decorations.)

Curry began to show emotion when Boston Coach Ime Udoka with just over a minute left, he called the reserves off the bench, conceding the series and the championship. Standing alone in the middle of the court, Curry seemed to be laughing and crying at the same time, a euphoric mixture of feelings.

“You can imagine what the emotions will be like, but they are amazing,” he said.

In a sports world consumed by show-debate, uninformed opinions and hot looks on social media, the two starlets – the unfair ones – seemed to follow Curry like smoke. First, his previous championships came at a time when opponents weren’t at full strength or when Kevin Durant was one of his teammates. Secondly, he was not named Finals MVP.

Whether he cared about it or not, Curry effectively debunked both of these stories against the Celtics, a team in which all of the young stars were in uniform and even had Marcus Smartthe league’s best quarterback of the year, who spent most of the series with his hands under Curry’s jersey.

For his part, Golden State coach Steve Kerr said there was only one achievement missing from Curry’s resume: an Olympic gold medal. (It should be noted that Kerr coaches the US men’s national team.)

“Sorry, I couldn’t resist,” Kerr said deadpan. “Honestly, the entire Finals MVP? I guess his career has been so flawless and that’s the only thing we can find. So it’s great to tick him off. But it’s really hard for me to think that it was actually against him.”

After the game, as Golden State players and coaches began to gather on stage for the trophy presentation, Curry hugged each of them, one by one.

“On top again, 30!” said Looney, referring to Curry’s uniform number.

After that, as Curry made his way to the court tunnel, lingering fans demanded to get closer to the court, closer to Curry before he was out of sight. He chewed on his winning cigar as he held his Finals MVP trophy in the air, tossing it up once, twice, three times.

Nobody could miss it.