- Stephen Curry called watching the NBA bubble from afar a career low.
- Curry was injured and the Warriors were not good enough to finish the 2019-20 season.
- Curry has since returned with a vengeance and the Warriors are once again at the top of the NBA standings.
Stephen Curry’s “lowest point” came when his Golden State Warriors weren’t good enough to justify playing basketball at all.
This happened in the summer and fall of 2020, when the NBA held a bubble at Disney World to close out the 2019-20 season, which was suspended due to the pandemic.
Curry’s Warriors were 15-50, last in the Western Conference and too far out of the playoffs to be invited to the bubble.
Curry missed all but five games that season with a wrist injury. Klay Thompson also missed the entire season with a torn ACL and Kevin Durant had the team released. The fall from title contenders to lottery residents was rapid.
Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo, Curry said it hurt him to see the bubble from a distance, but it also motivated him to get back to the top.
“Watching the bubble was the lowest point of those two years,” Curry told Yahoo. “There was a part of me that loved being refreshed, and a part of me really missed playing on that stage. That was the first time in seven years that I wasn’t in the playoffs. We know that every player has their own experiences in the bubble but i would have loved to be there i would say it was the lowest point in terms of my basketball experience because i felt so far away from it this is what i love to do the most. “
Curry added: “It touched me a bit because you’re so used to performing at certain times of the year… That was difficult because we know what it’s like to prepare for the play-offs and for a championship chase and how much that’s fun. That’s the motivation I needed. That’s why I’m enjoying the ride we’re on now, and we’re not done yet.”
It has become clear that the hiatus Curry received was beneficial to his career. After playing five straight years in June as the Warriors chased championships, Curry got some much-needed rest as he worked on his game and his body.
“I was like, I really need to take advantage of this window in time to get my body in shape, get stronger, get more efficient with every move, work on my skills,” Curry said on “The Rex Chapman Show” in April. “That I could come back with fresh legs and not be your normal 33-year-old coming back on the field.”
It also made him hungry – while other stars competed on the biggest stage, Curry was out of sight, out of mind.
Since returning to the floor last year, Curry has been dominant. Last year, he led the NBA in scoring, while delivering stats comparable to his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16. He finished third in MVP voting despite the Warriors missing the playoffs, a testament to his greatness.
This season he continued his excellent game. Curry averages 29 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists per game, shooting 42.3% out of three. He leads the NBA in made threes and is on pace to hit 451 three-pointers, which would break his own NBA record of 402 in a season.
Meanwhile, the Warriors look rejuvenated, with an NBA best record of 18-2. The young players the team has cultivated over the past two seasons have stepped into bigger roles and off-season additions fit into the Warriors system.
There is a chance to get even better. After missing out on the past two seasons, Thompson will return in December and sophomore center James Wiseman, the No. 2 draft pick for 2020, is recovering from knee surgery.
Curry and the Warriors are back in the NBA spotlight, just the way he wanted.