NBA

NBA Finals: 'This championship hits different' – Stephen Curry reflects on long road back to the top

By Sports Desk June 17, 2022

Golden State Warriors icon Stephen Curry took the time to sit back and soak in the journey from Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals to Thursday's Game 6, championship-sealing win against the Boston Celtics.

Curry, who averaged 31.2 points, six rebounds and five assists in the Finals to earn the first Finals MVP of his career, scored a team-high 34 points in Game 6 on 12-of-21 shooting, hitting six-of-11 threes and adding seven rebounds and seven assists.

It is the Warriors' fourth championship in the past eight seasons, with Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and coach Steve Kerr there for all four.

Speaking to the media while still wearing his goggles from the champagne celebrations in the locker room, Curry pushed back on the first question being about his elusive Finals MVP.

"Forget that, we're champs," he said. "We've got four championships.

"God is great, the ability to be on this stage and play with amazing teammates against a great Boston Celtics team that gave us everything to try to get to the finish line… this one hits different for sure.

"Knowing what the last three years have meant, and what it's been like. From injuries, to a changing of the guard with the roster, 'Wiggs' [Andrew Wiggins] coming through, our young guys. Carrying the belief that we could get back to this stage and win, even if it didn't make sense to anybody when we said it.

"All that stuff matters, and now we've got four championships. Me, Dray, Klay and Andre – and I finally got that bad boy [motioning to Finals MVP trophy] – it's special, man. Special.

"All the work that went into it, all the faith and belief, everybody in that locker room that's getting to spray champagne around the locker room – everybody mattered in that process. I'm proud of everybody."

Curry was superb down the stretch in the close-out win, scoring 13 of the Warriors' 27 fourth-quarter points, and he was overtaken by emotion as the finals seconds ticked down.

Touching on what was going through his head, he said it was thoughts of the long road back to the top after the 2019 Finals ended in devastating fashion, with a loss and serious injuries to Thompson and Kevin Durant.

"These last two months of the playoffs, these last three years, these last 48 hours, every bit of it has been an emotional rollercoaster, on and off the floor," he said.

"You're carrying all of that on a daily basis, trying to realise a dream and a goal like we did tonight – you get goosebumps just thinking about all those snapshots and episodes we went through to get back here.

"That's why I said this championship hits different – that's why I've got so many emotions, and still will – because of what it took to get back here. 

"When we started this season, there was a lot of conversation about who we were as a team, and what we were capable of, and I clearly remember some experts and talking heads putting up the big zero for how many more championships we'd have going forward.

"We hear all of that, we carry it all, and you try to maintain your purpose and not let it distract you, but you carry that weight, and to get here, it all comes out."

He added: "It was definitely overwhelming – it was surreal – just because you know how much you went through to get back to this stage.

"Me personally, my workouts from the offseason last year when we lost the play-in tournament, it's been a year and six days since I started the process of getting ready for this season – and it all paid off.

"I didn't know how it was going to happen, I didn't know what the environment was going to be like, but it hits different.

"Out there on the floor – I mean, I didn't even know [my dad] was down there – and I saw him, and I just lost it… I just wanted to take in the moment."

Curry also became the first player to ever win a unanimous league MVP and a unanimous Finals MVP, further cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players to ever lace them up.

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