NBA Finals: Stephen Curry’s fourth championship puts him in a rarer all-time atmosphere, and he’s far from done

I never know where I stand in the whole ring culture. Championships are not won by one player. They are overall organizational victories and can be highly indirect. That said, Stephen Curry won his fourth NBA championship on Thursday night, tying him with the likes of LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, and it feels very important.

Curry’s No. 4 is one more than Larry Bird and Dwyane Wade and one less than Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Tim Duncan. Leave all your “he needs Kevin Durant” narratives in the dumpster where they belong. First, Curry won a championship before Durant, and now he has one after him. Beyond that, LeBron needs Wade and Chris Bosh, then Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, then Anthony Davis. O’Neal needs Kobe and Wade, the Magic need Kareem. That’s how it works, especially with the depth of talent that exists in the modern NBA. No one does it alone.

That said, Curry has been the focal point of the Warriors storm that has engulfed the NBA for the past eight years. He’s the guy the defense fears the most and defends accordingly. He was the guy who brought everyone together in the locker room, a selfless star who created spaces for others to shine. You hear Steve Kerr say Curry is the epitome of Tim Duncan, and he’s right. The rare superstar blended humility with utterly arrogant confidence in his abilities and, as Steve Kerr told Scott Van Peelt after his win, “makes everyone in the locker room want to be happy.” He fought.”

“Without him, none of this would have happened,” Kerr said. “It doesn’t take away ownership of Joe and Peter because they’re amazing owners. They’ve built an incredible organization. Bob Myers, damn GM. Our players. We’ve got a lot of great players. .But Stephen is ultimately why this run happened.Like Timmy [Duncan] in San Antonio. I’m happy for everyone, but I’m excited for Stephen. For me, this is the crowning achievement of his already incredible career. “

I agree with Kerr. There is something different and more explicit about this title. This Warriors is not a super team. There’s something to love about the way Klay Thompson has returned this season, and he contributed significant time to what was also his fourth title, but he’s not everyone remembers the pre-injury player. Neither is Draymond Green, who started looking like a real disadvantage midway through this series. Andrew Wiggins is the second-best player on the Golden State Warriors.

Like Kerr said, credit goes to Miles for pulling all the right rosters and not pulling the other few that a lot of people think he should. Credit to a long list of role players. But it’s Curry’s title, plain and simple. Against one of our best defenses, he averaged 31.2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals on 48-44 shooting to earn his first Finals MVP (3-point shooting). rate is the highest 50 attempts in Finals history). Seen a long time ago, maybe forever. But of course, when asked about this personal honor, he has absolutely no interest in talking about himself.

“Forget that question. Why did you start with that question?” Curry responded when asked to get the Finals MVP monkey out of his back. “We’ve won four championships. God is amazing. To be able to play against a great Boston Celtics team on this stage with great teammates gives us everything we need to get to the finish line.

“This time is definitely going to be different, just knowing what the last three years have meant, from injuries to substitutions, the Wiggs experience, our youngsters are convinced we can get back on track and win, even when we say Times mean nothing to anyone, but all that matters.

“Now we’ve got four titles. Me, Dre, Klay and Andre, we finally got that bad boy. It’s special. It’s special. Just put all the work in it, the belief and the belief and the locker room. Everyone of “squirting champagne around the locker room, everyone is important in that process. So I am proud of everyone. “

In fact, Curry would never sing his praises. That’s what his teammates are here for. Andre Iguodala said the title cemented Curry’s status as the greatest point guard of all time. Draymond called Curry “absolutely amazing.”

On Thursday, Curry had 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds and made six 3-pointers. That makes him the first player in NBA history to hit at least five 3-pointers in five games in a single Finals series. He’s also one of only five players to win multiple regular-season MVPs, multiple scoring titles, and Finals MVPs, and he’s also the third guard in history to average at least 30 points per game in two separate Finals . We’ve run out of space on our resumes, and it’s become very difficult to avoid any talk of all-time greatness worth mentioning.

The eight-year runtime library is currently something you may never see again in your lifetime. LeBron needed nine years between his first title and his fourth. Shaq needs seven. If Kevin Durant hadn’t gone down in 2019, and if Draymond Green hadn’t been suspended in 2016, Curry would have probably had at least five titles in those eight years, and most likely six, So is the record card for 73 wins in the season.

Quite simply, Curry is one of the most reliable title fights of all time. This is where the greats are distinguished. You need a great team and you need something to go with the flow to really win the whole thing. But those who keep their teams in the hunt year after year are considered the greatest. Give Curry a good roster and he’ll take you a long way.

The problem is, he’s far from done. Have you seen these finals? Does this look like someone close to a meaningful recession? I’ll admit, more than once, I’ve convinced myself that this is the beginning of the end of Curry’s prime, as he struggled through the worst shooting season of his career, but he’s been great in the playoffs. Boston’s deployment of airdrop coverage in all series is a nice boost, but man, he looks great. quickly. strong. confident. Video game footage is back to normal. His defensive commitment, whatever his size and ability allow, is encouraging. His conditioning is amazing.

Curry is 34 years old, and you have to wonder if he has another 5 years like LeBron, and age doesn’t seem to matter that much to most people. He takes care of his body just as much as LeBron does, and whenever he plays, the gravity of his shots has an almost indescribable impact.

Give Thompson a full, healthy offseason to rediscover the consistent two-way state we’ve only seen for a while this season. Give Jordan Poole another year and you’re probably not far from an All-Star. Green is still an excellent defender and won’t continue to have offensive responsibilities for much of this series because not many teams will guard Curry like the Celtics. Green’s playmaking ability will return. Here comes Jonathan Cuminga and Moses Moody. James Wiseman probably too. Wiggins is solidified in this ecosystem. Kevin Rooney is a godsend. Gary Payton II is real. Vegas has lined up the Warriors as favorites to win next season.

Also, Miles is not ruled out making a big trade to make this team better. So far, he’s resisted the urge, but maybe that’s just because the right deal hasn’t come along. Myers believes that as long as the Warriors have Curry, they have the ability to win another championship without compromising the future, and he’s right. But the assets are still there, and Miles has proven he knows what to do with them, either way.

But it’s all on the way. Now, it’s a moment to reflect on one of the greatest and most accomplished basketball players in the world, and one of the most unique. Chances are, you’ll never see Stephen Curry again. Not the way he plays. Not the way he leads. He is truly unique. This largely unrecruited kid, picked by this rotten organization and nearly losing his career even before it really started, has upended the league in less than a decade. I’d still have a hard time believing it if I hadn’t seen almost every minute with my own eyes.

Warriors NBA Championship Gear Now Available

The Golden State Warriors have won their fourth NBA championship in the past eight seasons. Now you can celebrate with a champion cap, shirt, hoodie and more. Check out the entire series here.

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