Steph Curry enjoys golf, is a die-hard Carolina Panthers fan, and has attended Giants games in the past despite his attachment to the Boston Red Sox as a child. Really, though, he might as well be a cross-country and long-distance running connoisseur.
In any Warriors game, Curry makes the terrain his personal journey. He zigzags, zags and runs through and around obstacles for four quarters. This is why his teammate Gary Payton II shies away from basketball when he seeks comparisons with Curry. In fact, he avoids all of the sports listed above, including the track.
“He just keeps moving,” Payton said Monday. “I kind of think of him like a football player who just goes through the 48 minutes and runs on the pitch and just goes. He just keeps moving. He creates so much attention and he uses up guys. and the defenses. It’s ridiculous.
“His conditioning and the way he takes care of his body is ridiculous.”
Entering Monday’s game list, Curry ranks third in the NBA with 27.5 points per game. However, the way he’s used, even as the game’s top scorer, is very different from others in the league.
In 22 games played, Curry leads the Warriors in distance traveled per game from wide. He averages 2.54 miles per game – 1.43 on offense and 1.11 on defense. Curry leads all three of the team’s categories, with Jordan Poole coming in second at 2.24 miles per game.
At 33, his 34.4 minutes per game this season is also his highest since the 2013-14 season.
Curry led the Warriors to an NBA record of 19-4, while chasing the 3-point record. He only needs 23 3 points to break Ray Allen’s regular season record, and probably would have broken him already had he approached the game differently. Records will be broken, just as he continues to display mind-blowing stats in the box score.
As Payton knows, this is the least of Curry’s worries.
“It’s just Steph,” Payton said. “He cares more about winning than personal stats. He gets so much attention and he knows it. He prepares his teammates with screens and so on. We know what the defenses are going to do.
“They’re going to overtake Steph so he knows his teammates are going to be open.… I know he doesn’t think about it, he’s just going to try to make the right play for his team and everything falls into place.”
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For how much Curry might amaze us on a daily basis with the numbers he displays, Payton is proud to be his teammate for far more important reasons, knowing he is even more of an MVP away from the pitch.
“Steph, he’s just a real good guy,” Payton said. “He cares about everyone in the locker room, everyone in the front office, everyone in the organization. He talks to you like he’s an ordinary guy. You can sit down and chat about n ‘ whatever – family or whatever. He’s going to give you his undivided attention.
“I think just being a great human is probably the best trait he has.”
That, and his endurance as Golden State’s Lionel Messi.