There’s nothing like defending the all-time great firsthand, according to Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Austin Reaves, who signed a four-year, $54 million contract extension this offseason to stay in L.A. Reaves appeared on the All The Smoke podcast on Thursday, July 20, where he described to hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson precisely what it means to square up and stare down Curry.
The SHOWTIME Basketball Twitter account on Wednesday shared a video clip of Reaves’ comments as part of a promo for the episode.
“It’s honestly hell. Just the way he moves without the ball. The way…,” Reaves said, trailing off briefly. “It’s honestly their system, too. It fits him to perfection. You literally can’t ever relax.”
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson Gave Austin Reaves Runaround in Western Conference Semifinals
Reaves noted the Lakers’ matchup with the Warriors in the 2023 Western Conference Semifinals, during which he said his efforts to guard Curry and backcourt teammate Klay Thompson had a hugely negative impact on Reaves’ own offensive production.
“I remember Game 1 and 2, chasing him and Klay around, and I couldn’t make a shot. Everybody’s looking at me like, ‘Why can’t you make a shot?’ I’m like, ‘I ain’t got no legs,'” Reaves said, laughing. “His approach to the game, too, is special. Just the way that he sees the game and the way he goes about the game. It was a lot of fun to play them, obviously happy we won. But, no — it’s hell to guard him.”
The Lakers defeated the Warriors in six games before the eventual NBA Champion Denver Nuggets swept L.A. in the Western Conference Finals. However, the two California rivals may meet again in the playoffs as soon as 2024, as both teams had productive offseasons and figure to be in the mix somewhere near the top of the West by the time next regular season ends — assuming relative health on both sidelines.
Steph Curry Refuses to Slow Down as He Speeds Toward Late 30s, End of Warriors Dynasty
Curry will turn 36 years old next March, but he has shown no signs of slowing down as he approaches the age range that used to spell the end for basketball’s best players.
Despite his age, Curry earned Second-Team All-NBA honors at the end of the 2022-23 regular season. The two-time MVP and four-time champion has earned All-NBA honors in nine of his last 10 professional campaigns, per NBA.com, missing out in 2019-2020 due to playing just five games because of injury.
Curry remains under contract with the Warriors through 2025-26 and will play next season on the second year of a four-year, $215 million extension. He will be 38 years old by the time that agreement ends.
As a 34/35-year-old player last season, Curry averaged 29.4 points per game on 49.3% shooting from the field and 42.7% from behind the 3-point line on 11.4 attempts per night, according to Basketball Reference.