By Guillermo Azabal
Los Angeles, Jul 20 (EFE).- Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry said ahead of the streaming release of a career documentary that the sole reason he continues to play basketball at age 35 is to pursue another NBA title.
“A fifth championship, that’s why you play the game. At this point in your career, that’s really all you’re playing for is to win at the highest level,” said Curry, the face of a dynasty that has won four championships over the past decade, told Efe in an interview.
“Because, one, you know how hard it is to do. And every year, there’s new challenges and a new roster or new obstacles that you have to overcome. So that’s all I’m focused on.”
‘CHIP ON MY SHOULDER’
Curry, the son of 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry, grew up around basketball, fell in love with the sport at an early age and – like his dad – showed an extraordinary talent for outside shooting as a high-school player.
But his journey to make his own mark was not an easy one because he was seen by coaches and scouts as being too slightly built to compete at the highest level.
“I wasn’t naturally gifted or physically gifted,” Curry said of the obstacles that he faced as a young player and which still drive him to this day – the central theme of the documentary – “Stephen Curry: Underrated” – that has had a limited release in theaters and will premiere on Friday on Apple TV+.
“I still feel like I have that as part of my DNA … a little chip on my shoulder (and) a determination to let my work ethic kind of speak for itself and prepare me for whatever the challenge is ahead, because that’s the only way I was able to have success early.”
A point guard who was passed up by the traditional college basketball powerhouses and even by his father’s alma mater, Virginia Tech, Curry first made a name for himself on the national scene at tiny Davidson College in North Carolina.
Though largely operating out of the spotlight, Curry starting turning heads there and shattering records as a three-point shooter.
He also persistently worked on other areas of his game, becoming an effective, albeit highly underrated, ball-handler and passer.
While at Davidson, he became a household name among basketball fans by scoring 25 or more points in four consecutive games of the 2008 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament and leading Davidson to an improbable berth in the quarterfinals, where they narrowly lost to eventual champion Kansas.
He later entered the NBA in 2009 after being drafted as the seventh overall pick by the Warriors.
Although to this day he is known primarily as an outside shooter and does most of his damage from behind the three-point arc, he has worked relentlessly on his body to be able to withstand the rigors of the NBA and absorb contact from bigger defenders when attacking the rim.
Curry recalled that as part of that transformation process he has learned to focus on what he can control and accept his physical limitations.
“Acknowledging and embracing who I am and accepting who I am and … not comparing myself to anybody else, or not getting wrapped up in trying to be where somebody else is,” he said.
“Running my own race and continuing to just get a little bit better every single day, and for me that’s carried me all the way to this point.”
Curry’s remarkable work ethic led to his making further significant strides in the professional ranks and becoming one of the greatest players of his generation and in the history of the sport.