SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — In 13 seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry has provided Warriors fans with three championships, two MVP awards and countless unforgettable moments. He has a chance to win a fourth title on Thursday when the Warriors play Game 6 of the NBA Finals in Boston.
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Over time, Dub Nation has seen Steph grow from a baby-faced rookie to one of the best players in NBA history. Here’s a look at some memorable milestones from Curry’s career.
The Warriors selected Stephen Curry, a point guard out of Davison College, with the No. 7 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Golden State was lucky that Curry fell to No. 7. The Minnesota Timberwolves owned the No. 5 and 6 picks and selected two point guards, opting to take Spaniard Ricky Rubio and Syracuse’s Johnny Flynn instead of Curry.
Curry and the Warriors are now a bonafide NBA dynasty, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. In his first three seasons with the team, the Warriors posted a combined record of 85-145 and did not make the postseason. Curry played in just 26 games in the 2011-12 season, missing extended time with ankle injuries. But even while the Warriors struggled, Curry proved he was a prolific shooter — he made 44.1 percent of his 3-pointers over those three seasons.
Under Head Coach Mark Jackson, Curry and the Warriors rose to relevance in 2013. Curry burst onto the national radar with 54 points and 11 3-pointers in a victory over the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Curry got his first taste of the NBA playoffs that year, upsetting the Denver Nuggets in the first round before falling to the San Antonio Spurs in round two.
In 2013-14, Curry set career-highs in points (24.0) and assists (8.5) per game and made his first All-Star Game. But the Warriors stalled out in the playoffs again, losing in the first round to the Los Angeles Clippers.
First MVP, Title
After making a coaching change from Jackson to Steve Kerr, the Warriors took off in 2014-15. Curry was named the NBA’s MVP for leading Golden State to an NBA-best 67-15 record.
The Warriors took down the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference playoffs, setting up the first of four-straight NBA Finals showdowns with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry overcame pesky defense by Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova to win three straight games and deliver the Warriors their first championship since 1975.
73-9, But No Ring
Curry and the Warriors ascended to a new level in the 2015-16 regular season, finishing with a 73-9 record — the best in NBA history. Curry became the first player in NBA history to win the MVP award by a unanimous vote after leading the NBA in points and steals per game.
But the Warriors could not finish off their historic season with a title. After storming back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead of their own in the NBA Finals to Cleveland, ending their season in disappointment.
The KD Years
After the loss to Cleveland, the Warriors decided they needed a talent influx. Enter Kevin Durant. Golden State signed the former MVP in the 2016 offseason and won each of the next two titles — with Durant taking home both Finals MVPs. Injuries struck in 2019, when Durant tore his Achilles tendon and Klay Thompson tore his ACL in an NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors. The next offseason, Durant left the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets.
In the two seasons following Durant’s departure, the Warriors were thrust back into what Kerr called “the real NBA.” Curry played in just five games in 2019-20 after suffering broken hand and the Warriors posted a paltry 15-50 record before the NBA season was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Curry was healthy the next season and averaged a career-high 32 points per game, but the Warriors did not make it past the newly instituted play-in tournament after losses to the Lakers and Grizzlies.
Return to dominance
With Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green all relatively healthy, the Warriors are back in the NBA Finals. They earned the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and won three playoff series to meet the Boston Celtics in the Finals. At 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Curry will go for his fourth ring — and possibly his first NBA Finals MVP.