8

Reality Has Set in For Stephen Curry; Sights Set on Next Season

After trying so hard to get back in the court, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry sounded as if he’d embraced the truth his season is over.

“You can ask our trainers and all that,” Curry said, “(about) me fighting them every day about how fast I need to get back to a certain level and how fast I need to be getting back on the court. And them keeping me patient. … Once we came to the conclusion we only had a week left and I wasn’t going to be able to play, I guess the decision was pretty much made for me.”

Curry is going to miss 40 games this season of that ankle. He sprained the ankle five times (at Sacramento on Dec. 20, vs. Chicago on Dec. 26, atPhoenixon February 22, and vs.Dallason March 19) this season. Last season, he missed a total of eight games thanks to four ankle sprains.

Like most Warriors fans, Curry’s sights are now set for next year. He now that he’s done for the year, everything will slow down. He said in about a month his ankle should be healed.

After that, his offseason will be largely dedicated to improving his durability of his ankle – maybe an hour a day of extra work just on the ankle. He said surgery is not needed now and he doubts it will be this offseason.

Curry said Summer League would be a good target date for him to test the ankle. Practicing with the team in Las Vegas would be his first NBA-level work since spraining his right ankle against visitingDallason March 10. Curry also vowed to wear a brace regularly next season.

“I wanted to go out and get some minutes, test it out and feel confident going into next season that the ankle’s going to hold up,” Curry said. “I just have to use my summer wisely to get to that point. I’ve got four months, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be ready to go by October.”

As for his contract extension, that seems even more up in the air now.

The Warriors can sign Curry, completing the third of his four-year rookie deal, to a contract extension by Oct. 31. But both Curry and the Warriors may want to skip that this summer.

Golden State may not want to make the commitment given Curry’s ankle issues. Curry may not want to sign under these circumstances, when he would almost certainly get more less money than previously expected.

“When you have an injury like this,” Curry said, “you always have some doubts and some concerns when it comes to contract negotiations – especially my first go-’round at it. Whether that happens or not, I want to be (with the Warriors) and be a part of where we’re going. So it’ll be great if we both met somewhere. But if not, I’ve got a season to play next year and to continue get better. Whatever happens, happens.”

Curry said he’s heard all the fan’s conspiracy theories about Golden State’s tanking. He said fans have told him they think he’s sitting out to help the Warriors preserve their draft pick. The Warriors, if they finish in the bottom seven of the league, have a 75 percent chance of keeping their first-round pick – which goes to Utah if it’s the eighth pick or lower.

Curry said he understands the fans’ position – even the ones who have sworn off the Warriors because of their losing ways this season.

“That’s definitely a topic that’s been out there,” Curry said of tanking. “But these injuries we’ve had, they’re not fabricated, they’re not a plot to keep the pick and lose games on purpose. Nobody plays basketball to do that. So I think we just had some bad luck when it comes to injuries and guys who should be playing or would make an impact, haven’t been able to play. It’s a tough way to end the year.”

 

Marcus Thompson