Boston Stephen Curry is arguably one of the greatest basketball players in history. He won the NBA title three times in five years with the Golden State Warriors – then the team fell down due to injuries. Championship number four now moved him to tears.
With a cigar in his mouth, ski goggles to protect against the many splashes of champagne and the golden cup in his hand, Stephen Curry counted to four again and again during the title celebration in the dressing room. “One, two, three, four – four championships,” the 34-year-old basketball superstar yelled in all directions after renewed success with the Golden State Warriors. Three years after the bitter final defeat against the Toronto Raptors and after two years without taking part in the play-offs, the Warriors made this special NBA championship perfect on Thursday evening (local time) with a 103:90 against the Boston Celtics.
“This feels different here,” said Curry, who was voted Most Valuable Player of the Finals for the first time after his fourth NBA title and was moved to tears seconds before the final siren. “It’s surreal. We were so far away You end up at the bottom with injuries. It’s just never guaranteed, you don’t know if you’ll ever get back there.” In the end, the Warriors won the series 4-2 in game six.
From 2015 to 2019, the Warriors made the Finals five times in a row, won the title three times and were considered the measure of all things in the best basketball league in the world. But in Game 6 of the Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Klay Thompson tore his cruciate ligament and then his Achilles tendon just before his comeback a year later. The outstanding distance shooter missed more than two years and only made his comeback in the course of this season. Kevin Durant, one of the league’s best players and Finals MVP of the 2017 and 2018 titles, left the team. Curry broke his hand. Draymond Green injured himself. For two years, the Warriors were suddenly one of the worst teams in the league.
“All titles are unique and special,” said coach Steve Kerr, who after five titles as an NBA professional – including alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls – has now won four as a coach and has long been one of the greats of the industry matters. “But this one was probably the most unlikely title given where we’ve been for the past few years.”
Curry, Thompson, Green and Andre Iguodala have been on board for the first three of the now four titles in eight years. Because of this accumulated experience, the Warriors were favorites before the start of the finals against the Celtics. But then the record champions won the first game in San Francisco and, after equalizing, also their first home game in Boston and seemed to be too big a task with their extremely strong defense. But the young team around the leaders Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart lost far too many turnovers in the following games, gave the Warriors easy baskets and finally lost the third and decisive game in a row in front of their own fans in the TD Garden.
“We’ve lost the finals twice since I’ve been here, it’s devastating,” Kerr said in one of the numerous interviews after the triumph. “I really have sympathy.” But then his focus returned to the enormous quality of one man in particular: Steph Curry, the now four-time NBA champion, two-time main round MVP in the league and most valuable player in this final series. “I’m happy for everyone, but I’m thrilled for Steph. For me, this is the culmination of an already unbelievable career.”
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