After watching the Warriors gut out their second overtime win in as many games, two things came to mind. First, I was reminded how much heart this team has and how much they simply refuse to lose (11-1 in games decided by 5 points or less). And secondly, and this one is rather obvious, the Warriors won't win back to back championships without Stephen Curry.
How good is Curry? Here's my favorite recent tidbit: he set or tied four records… in a single game! In fact, Curry’s 10th, 11thand 12th 3-pointers against Oklahoma City this past Saturday were all of the record-setting or record-breaking variety. One of those marks to fall was for most 3-pointers in a season. Curry now has 288, breaking his own record of 286 he set last year, and he still has 23 games left to play! He’s on a pace for 402 three’s, a preposterous number considering no player in history has even reached 300. And consider this, Curry has missed three full games this year and hasn’t played a single minute in the 4th quarter of 16 others. Absolutely mind-boggling.
It's no surprise then that we are now hearing the word "outlier" when discussing Curry's greatness. A recent New York Times article compared Curry to Wayne Gretzky and Babe Ruth in terms of how he his re-defining his sport and re-writing the record books. Curry is doing things we’ve never seen before. Never in history have we seen a more accurate shooter off the dribble. Nor have seen anyone get off a quicker shot with such accuracy. And when you talk about shooting range, forget about it. Curry is taking shots that would get every other player in the league benched by their head coaches.
And it's not just his super human shooting skills. Curry is also arguably the best ball handler on the planet. How many times have we seen Curry crossover a defender a few times, then go behind the back two or three more times, then step back and drain a 25-footer. Heck, his two ball dribbling skills are so legendary opposing teams are opening up their gates early so fans can get a glimpse of Curry's pregame routine.
But with Curry it's not just his on court heroics that draws fans. He is by all accounts a great guy who donates his time and money to numerous charities. The fact that Curry has a baby face and is so darn likable only adds to his aura.
But Curry wouldn't be Curry if the Warriors weren't winning. And boy are they winning. The numbers are staggering. So off-the-charts ridiculous they are somewhat difficult to process, especially for long-time, and long suffering Warriors fans.
*54-5, best record in NBA history through 59 games.
*43 consecutive regular season home wins, one shy of the all-time record.
*64-2 at Oracle in the regular season since Steve Kerr took over in May of 2015. Not a typo, 64-2!!!!!
The list goes on and on...
But the Warriors rise to the top of the sporting world is about much more than numbers. Sure everyone likes a winner, but this team is just plain fun to watch. Not since the “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980’s has a team brought this much joy to not only its fan base but to non-sports fans as well. My mom can’t name three Warriors but she has been asking me when I’m taking her to a game (soon, I hope). My dad calls me every week to ask if any of the Warriors upcoming games will be televised in Santa Barbara where he lives. And a friend of mine from L.A., who is by no means wealthy, recently bought tickets just off the floor at Oracle and flew up to take his 83 year old father to see the Spurs game. Remember that one, a matchup of the two best teams, and it was garbage time in the 3rd quarter as the Warriors won by 30.
It's truly a special time in the Bay Area and a magical time to be a Warriors fan. And there's plenty of time to jump on the bandwagon if you're not already on it. This team is built to win for years to come. Let's all sit back and enjoy the ride.