Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals on June 16th. It is their fourth title in the last eight seasons after a 40-year drought. Though Warriors star Stephen Curry had reached the mountain top three previous times, winning his fourth title in 2022 was a little more special. Despite six previous trips to the NBA Finals, this year was the first time he captured his first Finals MVP award.
Curry’s resume now reads 4-time NBA Champion, 2-time NBA MVP, 2-time NBA Scoring Champion, 8-time All-NBA, and now, 1-time Finals MVP. He has racked up quite the list of accolades, and at 34 years old, he doesn’t appear to be declining. Brooklyn Nets guard Seth Curry, who is Steph’s brother, made a strong statement about the Warriors star following his NBA Finals win. Saying that Steph can no longer be compared to his contemporaries but only the all-time greats.
“Don’t talk about Steph again unless it’s in a convo with the [all] time great PLAYERS!! And I mean a hand full of people to ever touch a basketball,” the Nets guard said via his Twitter account.
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Warriors Return to the Top Has Been Quick, but Not Easy
Despite having a swift rebuild, the road back to the top for the Warriors has been no easy feat. Their tumble from the top began in 2019 when a series of unfortunate events had a ripple effect on the next few years of the franchise.
It started in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors when All-Star forward Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles. Despite losing Durant in the 2nd quarter of that game, Golden State was able to force a Game 6 at home. But more tragedy awaited the Warriors in Game 6 as their All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson tore his ACL, and they would lose the game and the series.
To add literal insult to injury, Durant parted ways with the franchise to join the Brooklyn Nets that same summer.
Their injuries woes didn’t end there. Steph Curry broke his hand at the beginning of the 2020 season, which held him out for most of the year. The Warriors found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they were a lottery team that only won 15 games.
Thompson recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in the 2019 Finals. But just before the start of the 2021 season, he tore his Achilles during a pickup game which held him out until January 9th of this year. He missed 941 days of action in total.
But all the trials and tribulations they have gone through have made winning this year’s championship all the more sweeter for the Warriors. They could be a threat down the line for years to come.
Despite Warriors Win, KD Made Right Choice
With the Warriors winning their first title since 2018, one person that has come into question is Nets forward Kevin Durant. KD left the Warriors to join the Nets in 2019 after three consecutive NBA Finals appearances. The Nets were swept in the first round by the Boston Celtics, the same team that the Warriors just defeated handily.
One question that particularly has been raised is if Durant made the right decision by leaving. The answer to that is simply yes because he got what he wanted. Durant had a goal when he joined Golden State in 2016, that was to become a champion, something he had never done before.
During his years with the Warriors, he dominated and won the Finals MVP back-to-back years. But the narrative surrounding his move to Golden State was that he took the easy way out, and in the eyes of some fans he still has to win one without them to stamp his legacy. With a core of KD, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, and possibly more help to come, he could have a good chance of reaching that milestone next season.