Just months after leading his team to a fourth title in the last eight seasons, Steph Curry doesn’t have any time for disrespect from ESPN.
The Golden State Warriors star took to social media to share his reaction to the sports media giant’s less-than-stellar season prediction for the Warriors this season. A season preview predicted that the Warriors would hover around the edge of the playoff bracket, drawing a strong reaction from Curry.
Curry Reactions to Warriors Prediction
With his team traveling to Japan for a preseason showcase, Curry caught wind of ESPN’s preseason projections for the NBA that had the Warriors falling all the way to the bottom of the playoff bracket.
Curry took note of the outlet’s eight-place prediction, reminding ESPN that it took a big miss on the Warriors in the final series of the 2021-22 season. The outlet’s Basketball Power Index gave the Warriors just a 14 percent chance to beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, a task that Golden State achieved in six games.
Curry has opened up about the importance of last season’s run to the NBA Finals, saying the title was the most special to him of all four he’s now won with the Warriors. Speaking to Ashley Nicole Moss of Sports Illustrated, Curry said it carried extra importance to him given all the adversity he and the team had endured.
“The first one, you don’t really know what you’re doing until you accomplish it, and then you’re celebrating. The next two were kind of validation, trying to remain champions. But after these last three years and winning that one, definitely the most special,” Curry said.
Prior to last season, many had counted out Curry and the Warriors. The team sank to the basement of the NBA in the 2019-20 season, with Klay Thompson and Curry out for the season with major injuries. Curry was back the next season and returned to MVP-caliber form, but couldn’t get the Warriors out of the play-in tournament and into the playoff bracket.
But the Warriors came roaring back last season, winning 53 regular-season games to finish third in the Western Conference, then marching through the playoffs. Curry said his emotion in the closing seconds of Game 6 was indicative of just how much it meant to him.
“You don’t find me ugly crying on the court for no reason,” Curry said. “That raw emotion that came out after Game 6 kind of signaled how much this meant to me, how much this meant to our team.”
ESPN Analyst Explains Warriors Projection
Even ESPN didn’t display a high amount of confidence in its own projection for the Warriors this season. As NBC Sports Bay Area noted, the projections were based on a number of factors including recent history, which skews the prediction for the Warriors because it included the year without Curry and Thompson. When the numbers were all crunched, it showed the Warriors winning 41.9 games.
Kevin Pelton, who created the projection, said he believes the Warriors will outperform his model, even though the team lost some key players including Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II.
“Despite these losses, I expect Golden State to outperform this projection and be back near the top of the West,” Pelton wrote.