It’s time for the second installment of Is This A Thing? In the first, C.J. McCollum’s assertion that Stephen Curry couldn’t guard him was deemed a non-thing. The Golden State Warriors superstar is involved again here — in an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell in Guangzhou, China where Curry acknowledged that he wasn’t fully healthy after returning from a knee injury in the playoffs.
“I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares? I was playing,” Curry said. “I was out there trying to help my team win and that’s all that really matters. I’ve taken advantage of the summer to get right and I still have a little bit of work to go.”
The crucial questions:
Is this surprising in any way? No. Curry clearly wasn’t the best version of himself for most of the postseason, and that wasn’t just because of regular wear and tear and more focused defenses. The back-to-back Most Valuable Player could not get to the basket or finish there the same way he did in the regular season, and he could not create separation as easily on the perimeter, either. Curry’s health was a constant topic of discussion during the playoffs, particularly in the NBA Finals.
Is Curry making an excuse? No. I mean, he literally said, “Who cares?” During the playoffs, Curry deflected questions about his injury, saying he was healthy enough to do what he needed to do on the court. Even now, he didn’t go into much detail. It is obvious that he is not using his knee injury to explain away the fact that the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals. Given how close Golden State was to winning, he must still feel like the team should have done so regardless.
Is it inherently bad to reveal injuries? No, and it’s weird that players are so wary of doing so. Remember when Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley played through a broken face, sprained neck, two wrist sprains, lower back tightness and a right foot sprain in the 2015 playoffs? He told Sports Illustrated‘s Rob Mahoney about the whole thing, and it was enlightening. Nobody criticized Conley then, as he was playing with a mask on his face and visible discomfort elsewhere. Players with less serious setbacks, though, are not encouraged to talk about them, precisely because it can be interpreted as an excuse. This seems unnecessary — everyone understands that players’ bodies are banged up by the end of the season and they will generally try to play through the pain. It should be OK if they acknowledge the specific ways they are limited.
So, is this a thing? No, unless you’re actively looking for any reason to be mad at Curry and the oh-so-villainous Warriors. This is nothing.
Source: CBS Sports / Warriors’ Stephen Curry on the Finals: ‘I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares?’