The Golden State Warriors are off to a flying start in 2021-22, posting the NBA’s best record at 18-2 and dominating on both ends. With Stephen Curry operating at an MVP level and Draymond Green anchoring what has been the league’s top defense through 20 games, the Warriors are clearly giving off fun vibes again, and Golden State has a prime time showdown against the similarly hot Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. In advance of that high-profile tilt, Curry chatted with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports and, in the midst of a highly intriguing discussion, he explained why the Warriors not making the NBA’s Orlando Bubble in 2020 was his “lowest point” of a trying two-year period.
“Watching the bubble was the lowest point of those two years,” Curry told Haynes. “There was a part of me that felt it was nice to get refreshed, and a part of me really missed playing on that stage. That was the first time in seven years of not being in the playoffs. We know each player had their own experiences in the bubble, but I would have loved to have been there competing. I would say that was the lowest point in terms of my basketball experience because I felt so far away from it. This is what I love to do.”
Curry later said that he is “used to performing in certain times of the year,” and that likely contributed to some of it, especially as he watched his contemporaries vying for a title. From there, Curry said it was hard “because we know what it’s like to prepare for the playoffs and into a championship chase and how much fun that is,” and noted that was the “motivation (he) needed.”
It should be noted that it wasn’t as if the Warriors set the league ablaze in 2020-21, but Golden State did mount a much better performance and came on very strong down the stretch of the campaign. That may have set the stage for the “beautiful game” basketball that Steve Kerr’s team is exhibiting in the early going, and the Warriors might be even scarier in the near future if Klay Thompson can return at anything approaching pre-injury levels. It certainly makes sense that Curry generated motivation from not being in the Bubble environment, but this was a particularly interesting revelation in that the absence really seemed to hit him hard and also instill a renewed drive.