NBA legend Steph Curry has revealed he sought the advice of NFL icons Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers on how they extended their careers after reaching another milestone – after revealing he is two years away from his original goal.
The NBA’s greatest shooter turned 35 on Tuesday and matched is two seasons away from his father’s, Dell, tally of 16 seasons in the league. Curry still appears to be at the peak of his powers and returned from an injury lay off to put up 36 and 23 points in victories against the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
Monday night’s win against the Suns saw Curry register an efficient 7-13 while shooting a trademark 4-6 from three-point range.
Like his fellow older statesmen LeBron James, 38, and Chris Paul, 37, the two-time league MVP is playing like a man several years his junior and, in an interview with Andscape, he admitted to feeling better than he thought he would at the age – dispelling any nascent fears of retirement.
“How I feel right now is not how I thought I’d feel at 35,” Curry told the outlet after the victory over the Bucks. “That number sounds crazy, but in my head, I feel like I got a lot left. The work I put into this I still enjoy. Who knows how [the future] looks?
“I talked to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and other guys who have been on the other side of the halfway point. I know quarterbacking is different, but you can check yourself [mentally] into not fast-forwarding too far.
“They really did a good job of disciplining themselves for what is happening in real time. They’re 40 feeling like they can still play. I’m trying to stay in that mode. Thirty-five is a big milestone, but the next one is 40. The way I feel right now, who knows?”
The prospect of playing at an elite level well into your thirties has been a theme in the past decade across a range of sports. From the aforementioned James, Brady and Rodgers to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Curry looks set to be the next great in that collection.
The lifelong Warrior began his NBA journey in 2009 after being selected seventh overall and said his original plan was to match his old man’s record of 16 seasons in the NBA.
“But now, you get to this point where you realize that at 16 years, he was 37.” Curry added. “I remember the last three years of his career he had a back spasm problem in Milwaukee. I just remember all the work he had to do to play those last three years. Times have changed in terms of what your prime is.”
If injuries had not been such a factor in his current season Curry may well have been another name in the now acrimonious MVP debate while his stunning play-off performances last season finally put an end to derisory statements from his detractors. And if he can manage to inspire his squad to another deep post season run there will be even fewer voices opposing his exalted position in the all-time rankings.
The Warriors have endured a confusing campaign that has been punctuated by injuries, poor form and disharmony. The defending champs currently sit fifth in the Western Conference standings and are in dire need of some consistency going into April and May particularly away from their home court in San Francisco.
The outfit have a dismal 7-26 record on the road this term and they’ll need the 2022 NBA Finals MVP at his absolute best to replicate last season’s crowning achievement.