This is the summer of Stephen Curry’s reset.
The face of a Warriors franchise that has dominated the NBA for years understands that his team has undergone — pardon the expression, San Fran and surroundings — seismic change.
Gone: Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and DeMarcus Cousins.
Seriously injured (torn ACL) and likely out most of next season: Klay Thompson.
And for the first time in the last half-decade, the Warriors aren’t the favorites to win the NBA Finals.
“A lot of changes,” Curry told reporters Thursday ahead of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament (via the San Francisco Chronicle).
However, while speaking in Nevada for the first time about those changes, most notably Durant’s departure, Curry made it clear one thing won’t change.
“The expectations of how we play, that championship-level basketball, won’t change,” he vowed. “I’m excited about it.”
That said, here are three more key quotes from Curry on the current state of play for the Warriors:
1. On life without Durant.
The setup: KD reportedly offended some in the Golden State organization by announcing he was headed to the Nets while Curry was on a plane from China to New York to meet face-to-face with the two-time NBA Finals MVP.
Curry: “The three years we had were special. We had three straight Finals appearances and won two of them. We accomplished a lot as a group. Everyone talks about all the talent we had on that team, but that doesn’t mean you can put it all together. … I like to look at what we accomplished and focus on that, and be extremely proud of that run. Now we try to re-create that.”
2. On D’Angelo Russell’s arrival.
The setup: Russell comes over from the Nets and it’s hard to see how the Warriors keep him on a max deal alongside Curry and Thompson. For now? They’ll make it work.
Curry: “I haven’t had much personal interaction with him. Back when he got drafted, there were some comparisons of our games. He can handle the ball, shoot, pass. Having versatile guys like that can only help our team. The chemistry will develop quickly. It’s about encouraging each other and having confidence we’ll get the most out of each other.”
3. On the old-timers exodus.
The setup: Curry has shared the leadership role during the team’s run, but the departures of so many old heads puts even more of an onus on Curry, who turned 31 in March.
Curry: “I’m the oldest on the team now, so I’ve got to step my game up. It’s a tough business. You knew at some point there would be some hard changes. You talk about Andre and Shaun, they’re two guys who do things the right way. They have the ultimate level of professionalism, a respect for what they say and do. They’re both three-time champs, and I think they have a lot left in the tank. It’ll be fun and weird to watch them on different teams.”