Curry: 'There's a hunger about every guy that's here'
Stephen Curry's days of toiling in relative anonymity are over.
Even after becoming a darling of college basketball and a first-round pick, Curry was always able to avoid the spotlight when he wanted to during his first few years in the NBA. Sure, he signed his fair share of autographs and posed for the occasional picture, but outside of the Bay Area or his native North Carolina, he was just another face in the crowd.
Setting the NBA's single-season three-point record (272) and leading a downtrodden franchise to the Western Conference semifinals has a way of changing that. If that's the price of success, the humble, freshly minted superstar is completely fine with it.
"It's different," Curry said. "I got noticed a lot, especially in the Bay Area during basketball season, but you go places you don't really think people will know who you are and then they do, so it's kind of a cool deal."
Curry's offseason was a productive one across several platforms.
It included a trip to Nyarugusu Camp, a large refugee camp in Tanzania, where he saw first-hand the impact the anti-malaria program Nothing But Nets was having -- and was needed -- in the third-world settlement. Curry donated three bed nets for every three-pointer he hit last season and plans to continue to do so in the future. Each net can protect a family of four from malaria-carrying mosquitos that bite at night for about three years.
"It was the most rewarding part of the summer," he said. "To kind of see first hand the results of the work and the fund raising that Nothing But Nets and myself have teamed up to do was awesome and hopefully it's not my last trip to Africa or a place where those bed nets are needed. Great eye-opening trip for me and I brought back some great memories."
Basketball-wise, Curry used a rare injury-free offseason to get stronger and prepare his body for the grind of a season of heightened expectations.
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On a wall somewhere inside the Warriors facility hangs what Curry referred to as a "playoff board." On that board is the number of wins the team is aiming for. He would only divulge that it begins with a five, meaning the team's expectation is to have one of the five-best regular seasons in Warriors history. The franchise has reached the 50-win plateau on just four occasions and only twice since winning its lone NBA title in 1975.
"We learned some valuable lessons in the San Antonio series and we knocked on the doorstep of the Western Conference finals," Curry said. "That's a big opportunity, so (improving on that) is our goal. Having all these guys here early, we're all bought into that vision."
Among those guys that are in town early -- training camp doesn't begin until Sept. 28 -- is Curry's little brother Seth, an undrafted rookie who signed with the team on Aug. 23.
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"He's one of the guys," the older Curry said. "Obviously he gets in the same car and we go back to the house together, when we're here at the gym it's that another teammate kind of a deal. Sometimes I forget he's here and then you see him make a shot and you're like, 'What's up?'"
Having his younger brother around has its advantages at home, too.
"If he's eating a lot, he's got to do the dishes. I'm sure me and my wife will want a date night one of these days so he'll have to watch Riley (his 1-year-old daughter) for us," the older Curry said. "I'll look forward to his face when I tell him that."