Steph Curry – Steve Nash with a Title?

As I’ve mentioned to friends and tweeted several times, the Golden State Warriors faced very little adversity during the 2015/16 NBA season. Yes, their Coach, Steve Kerr, was out for an extended period because of his back, but that only seemed to make them stronger. With their swagger and dominance (and pursuit of 73 wins), I couldn’t help but wonder when adversity would hit them. I felt it was only a matter of time and thought it would probably be Curry.

Was anyone surprised when he hurt his ankle in Game 1 vs the Houston Rockets? With his history of ankle sprains and the 2011 surgery for torn ligaments, one would expect those issues to come back at some point. Did they really need to play him at all in this series against an awful Rockets team? The Warriors may regret that decision.

Were you surprised after Curry hurt his knee in Game 4? Maybe it was a fluke (slipping on the court) but for it to happen so quickly after his ankle injury makes me wonder about his durability. 

My friend Manfred tweeted this:

“82 regular season games of getting chased and pounded takes a toll on a small frame.”

Keep in mind that Curry didn’t even play in many 4th quarters this season, so he should have a lot less ‘wear and tear’ on his body than other superstars - most of them having played higher minutes per game.

I enjoy Curry’s game immensely and love the way he competes and plays. He has made basketball more fun and inspired the art of shooting. As a sharp shooter in my high school and Division 1 collegiate days, watching Curry’s ball handling and insane shooting skills brings me great joy. In addition, I suspect he’s brought many new fans to the NBA and basketball in general.

But….whether it is past or present players, durability is essential to success in the NBA. 

Allen Iverson had a small frame as well, but was as durable as they come. Magic, Wade, Bird, Jordan, Thomas, Nowitzki, Duncan, Kobe, Stockton, Hakeem, Kareem, Big O, West, Frazier, Malone, Lebron, Ewing, Kidd, Pippin, Shaq, Dr. J, Moses, Barkley, Wilt, Russell, Cousy and Dumars, just to name a few, were all durable. They were out there for the majority of their ‘moment of truth’ playoff moments. As I write, Steph isn’t on the court in arguably the biggest playoff moment of his career.

As banged up as Dwayne Wade (3 Rings) has been in his career, he was on the hardwood when it came time to compete for the Championship. Isiah ‘Zeke’ Thomas (2 Rings) played on a bad ankle against my Lakers in the 1988 NBA Finals and scored 25 points in one quarter. After he returned from his baseball vacation, Jordan won 3 Titles and didn’t miss any games from 1995 to 1998. 

Most of the great players have been on the floor when it mattered most. Some of them have been hurt or not been a factor during a playoff run, but usually they were healthy enough to compete. Part of being great is being durable. Even Bill Walton (Mr. Bad ankles) won two titles. Imagine if he had been healthy.

Do I think Curry will return this season? No, I don’t. 

I’m hopeful though, especially for all the fans of the game who want to see the Warriors make a historic run after going 73-9 (a record) in the regular season. He’s already out for two weeks, which mentally will be tough on both the team and Curry.  If Curry should return, his mind and body will be thinking about the aforementioned injuries and that can’t be positive for his psyche.

This could very well be the beginning of the end for Steph, as injuries may rear their ugly head and not give him the chance to compete at his highest level. With Curry’s contract (only $11 million per year and low for a superstar) up at the end of next season, the Warriors will be between a rock and a hard place. Do they really want to give him maximum money ($20 million+ per year) with the chance that he could become another Grant Hill?

I feel bad for him, as he’s a class individual and the team had a chance to do something special, by winning back to back NBA Championships. With him healthy, I felt they would have closed the deal. In addition, Curry’s status as a 2x Champion would have put him in that ‘Isiah Thomas’ category. Without that second ring, one can’t place him in that rarified air.

Can the Warriors win a NBA Title without Curry? Slim to no chance in my opinion. The Spurs and Cavaliers are too strong and currently healthy. Even if Curry does return, a sprained knee isn’t the type of injury one wants to come back from after being out 2-3 weeks.

With Curry expected to win his 2nd consecutive MVP Trophy this season, I immediately thought of Steve Nash; who won two MVP’s as well, but never got that Championship. If Curry stays healthy for the next 6-7 years, he has a chance to become the best guard of all time. Steph will go down as one of the best shooters in NBA history no matter what his future holds, but getting more rings, having longevity like Nash and being durable is a big question mark.

I will leave you with this timely message from Ben Golliver on Twitter:

“Stephen Curry news reminds me of crazy Lebron James factoid: He’s never missed a playoff game for any reason. 42.5 MPG/182 games in playoffs.”

Happy Gswede Tuesday!

Nash and Curry in Action


As I was leaving the International School my kids attend one day last month, I started randomly singing the words to Stevie Wonder's 'Overjoyed' - a long-time favorite song. I love when lyrics pop into my head and the words flow effortlessly.

And though you don't believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams 
Come true when I looked at you
(Overjoyed- Stevie Wonder)

I'm joyful daily for the life I have been blessed with, along with being grateful for my loving wife, healthy kids and a strong group of caring friends and family.

The love and happiness at the school that morning for 'World Cultural Day' was inspiring. It was easy to be overjoyed. Watching the student body (50 nationalities) and many proud parents enjoying the moment and each other was heart-warming.

Those types of moments exemplify what many of us need to do more of  - namely to embrace diversity. One of the most important things we can do in our daily journey is to continue to or start to 'Embrace The Diversity in Our World', along with opening up our children to the beauty and differences of the youth around them. Children often need a push to get out of their comfort zone of sameness.

Next time you are in a room (after work, on vacation, at a party, with friends or attending an event, etc), take a look around and examine the diversity. You may be surprised by what you don't see. It's a simple and quick way to get one sense of the diversity in your life. If you tend to see people who look like you or think like you or act like you, chances are that your world (and most likely your children too) needs a higher dose of diversity.

I realize that diversity is not appealing to everyone. I know a few people and families where that is the case. It's disheartening, especially for the young children who are taught not to embrace diversity, even though diversity will be almost impossible for them to avoid and essential to navigate in order to have a well-rounded life.

In my eyes, one of the most beautiful sights is a room full of diversity. I saw it in full bloom that morning and see it often. I hope you do too.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

World Cultural Day