By Lamar Battle
After the devastating loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in last seasons finals, one that saw the Golden State Warriors give up a 3 to 1 series lead ( The first time in Finals history) before falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers the Warriors have made improvements in their quest to win their second NBA crown.
The most notable improvement comes in the form of first team all NBA player Kevin Durant who joins the team this season as a free agent.
In most circles Kevin Durant is considered to be the second or third best player in the world depending on who you are talking to.
The Warriors added Durant after winning an astounding 73 games the season to eclipse the Chicago Bulls all time winning record of 72-10.
Adding Kevin Durant to a lineup featuring Stephen Curry ( 45.2 on three pointers 2016-17) and sharpshooter Klay Thompson ( 42.5 on three pointers 2016-17) all but establishes the Warriors as contenders to win the NBA 2016-17 title.
More Than A Shooter:
One must admit that the Warriors are loaded for sure but when the smoke clears Steph Curry will still be the straw that stirs the drink and LeBron James biggest rival.
As fate would have it mis-timed ankle and knee injuries as well as an auto-response ailment afflicting the foot of teammate Draymond Green prevented Steph and the Warriors from capping off a perfect season with a championship in 2015-16.
Stephen Curry, always underestimated due to his size 6′ 3″ and weight 190 pounds has added muscle to his frame over the summer and can now bench press 300 pounds ten times. ( The weight training may be a result of LeBron James manhandling him during the Finals).
The averages of 30.1 points pg, 5.4 assist pg and 6.9 rebounds pg (2016-17) are impressive enough but consider he was the 2x league MVP, 3x NBA All Star, 2x All NBA first team, 4x three point field goals leader, 2x free throw percentage leader and NBA steals leader (2015).
However, taking into account this list of achievements Stephan Curry still has the ability to make his teammates better through example and humility.
We should recall that this is the same player who led tiny Davidson University to an Elite Eight birth in the NCAA tournament.
Stephan has also made such an impact on the league that more and more teams are adjusting offensive approaches to address the growing trend of increased three point shooting.
The NBA boast players that are now more than ever speaking out on the behalf of the under-served while donating to charitable causes.
Stephen Curry is no different as he donates three insecticide treated mosquito nets to the United Nations Nothing but Nets program for every three point shot made.
Curry has met with President Obama and addressed dignitaries as part of the President’s Malaria initiative.
The married father of two daughters has left no room for doubt when it comes to his faith as evidenced during his MVP acceptance speech where he said:
” People should know who I represent and why I am who I am, and that’s because of my Lord and Savior”.
The Golden State Warriors are indeed blessed to have this player, a role model for young people and a great player who is evolving into an even greater leader.