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Stephen Curry ready to embrace 'new beginnings' with revamped Golden State Warriors

Two-time MVP Curry hails Kevin Durant as an 'an all-time great' and hopes the pair will one day reminisce about their three Warriors seasons together

Associated Press

Thursday 15 August 2019 10:08, UK

Stephen Curry pictured during his Golden State Warriors warm-up
Image: Stephen Curry pictured during his Golden State Warriors warm-up

Stephen Curry is ready to help "galvanise" the new-look Golden State Warriors roster and said he is excited by the opportunities presented by the 2019-20 NBA season.

Someday, years or even decades from now, at one of those celebratory reunions teams like to do, Stephen Curry knows he and Kevin Durant will reminisce with fondness about their three insanely successful years together on the Golden State Warriors.

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They will reflect on the greatness, the fun, all they learned from each other shooting side by side day after day. Two championships and a pair of NBA Finals MVP awards for Durant.

"I'll always remember the three years we had. We'll probably be back here down the road celebrating those like they did the '74-75 team," Curry said, nodding in the direction of the Warriors' recent championship banners. "It'll be cool when that happens."

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For now, Curry is embracing new beginnings as the oldest player on a Golden State roster that will look far different come training camp next month.

That also was the theme he shared with girls attending his Warriors camp this week in one of his bittersweet final trips to the downtown Oakland practice facility before Golden State's move across the bay to San Francisco and the new Chase Center.

Durant, recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles tendon, has departed to join the Brooklyn Nets.

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Stephen Curry congratulates Kevin Durant during the Golden State Warriors' Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Clippers
Image: Curry congratulates Kevin Durant during the Golden State Warriors' Game 3 win over the Los Angeles Clippers

"We won two championships and I think we both got better throughout the process as basketball players and as people," Curry said. "With the demand every single night to be great and just all that that comes with, in terms of the media attention, the scrutiny, the criticism, the praise even, it's a lot to handle.

"I think me and him especially on that level could connect. Him going to Brooklyn, you're just trying to make sure he's happy and going to a place where he feels like he needs to be. At the end of the day, you've got to be happy about that for him."

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry share a high-five 1:50
Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 56 points in the Golden State Warriors' win over the Memphis Grizzlies

Also gone are veterans Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, guard Quinn Cook and big man DeMarcus Cousins. Meanwhile, the Warriors have added a handful of new faces including D'Angelo Russell, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glenn Robinson III.

Draymond Green got a new four-year deal earlier this month worth close to $100m. Kevon Looney re-signed, too.

Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry celebrate Golden State's Gane 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers
Image: Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Curry celebrate Golden State's Gane 2 win over the Portland Trail Blazers

As Klay Thompson works back this season from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee that he injured in the deciding Game 6 loss of the finals to the Toronto Raptors, Curry's backcourt mate will be Russell.

At 31, Curry does not mind that he will be the 'old guy' entering his 11th NBA season. A two-time NBA MVP, he has reached five straight NBA Finals.

Stephen Curry fires from distance against the San Antonio Spurs 0:22
Stephen Curry beats the buzzer from inside his own half during the Golden State Warriors' loss to the San Antonio Spurs

"Has it sunk in? No. Have people been reminding me? Yes, any time they bring up our team looking forward," he said with a smile. "It's cool though, hopefully I'm wise beyond my years but still youthful in what I can do on the floor. It's just a change in dynamic all the way around.

"We're excited about the opportunities, the challenges for the whole roster, because we've got a lot of guys that have the opportunity to really prove themselves and make a difference in our team. Obviously our core, until Klay gets back, we know how to win and we know how to play. We're just going to do it a little differently."

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Curry is unconcerned at this stage about outside expectations regarding how good this group might be and speculation that these Warriors may not be a championship contender.

"I know the reality of the situation in terms of we lost a guy like Kevin Durant, who's an all-time great basketball player," Curry said. "We lost two veteran high-IQ guys in Shaun and Andre that really were like the cogs in the wheel that kept us going and you could rely on them every single game.

Stephen Curry flexes for the crowd after scoring in Golden State's Game 5 win over Houston
Image: Curry flexes for the crowd after scoring in Golden State's Game 5 win over Houston

"So, the look is different but nobody really has a sustained run like we did where every year you're expected to be the greatest. It's just a matter of now we have to, I wouldn't even say prove people wrong, but we have to kind of galvanise the new roster and do the exact same thing."

As he told the female campers all sporting his No 30 jersey, first things first.

Curry took a quick poll of how many had started school again. Dozens of hands shot into the air.

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"Great to see you all again! You all having a great day, too?" A collective "yeah!" was the response.

"New beginnings, right? We're going to take care of our school work this year?" Curry asked. "We're going to be very dedicated and hard-working in the classroom as we are on the basketball court? That's very important to be well-rounded people, right? Athletes and academics."

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