The Warriors suffered a heart-breaking 4-3 NBA Finals defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers last season to lose the title they won in the 2014-15 campaign.
That came after the Warriors had set a regular-season record of 73 wins, and in a bid to ensure they do not suffer similar disappointment Golden State spent big to sign Kevin Durant from Oklahoma City Thunder.
It was obvious at points in the playoffs that Stephen Curry was not 100 percent healthy. He slipped on a wet spot on the floor in Houston, sprained his right knee, missed some time, and was not quite right the rest of the way. He still had monster games and stretches of elite play (that’s how recovery from injury goes, it’s not linear), but wasn’t doing the little things quite as well.
Of course, Curry and the Warriors largely denied it until after the playoffs ended.
Curry, during his tour of China, finally admitted he was not right in an interview with ESPN’s Darren Rovell, but added it didn’t matter.
“I wasn’t 100 percent, but who cares? I was playing. I was out there trying to help my team win and that’s all that really matters. I’ve taken advantage of the summer to get right and I still have a little bit of work to go.”
Stephen Curry’s health wasn’t the reason the Warriors dropped a 3-1 series lead. It was Draymond Green not being able to keep his hands to himself, it was LeBron James finding another gear, it was Andrew Bogut getting injured, it was Kyrie Irving not shying away from the big moments. We tend to like simple answers when reality is a stew of a lot of different flavors coming together — there is no one answer.
Those final three games then the Warriors adding Kevin Durant this summer flipped the national narrative for a lot of people: LeBron was the hero bringing a title to his hometown, the Warriors are the superteam villains.
“I kind of laugh at that,” Curry said. “Obviously how the Finals ended [and] what happened, that’s sports. That’s what you love about it. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Obviously it stinks to not win, but playing for a championship for two years in a row has been an amazing, amazing journey and I don’t think it’s over.
“All that narrative around our team, how people view us, doesn’t really matter to us. We are who we are and we’re championship contenders going forward.”
Consequently, the Warriors have had to do some realigning of their roster with the likes of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut departing, and NBA MVP Curry believes it could take time for the Warriors to gel.
"There will be an adjustment period and there will be some rocky times because it's not going to be a perfect transition," he told reporters in China.
"There's a lot of different personalities, a lot of new personalities and a different vibe than we've had for the past three or four years.
"Our core is pretty much the same minus HB [Harrison Barnes] and Bogs [Andrew Bogut], but we've added some great characters who will fit into our identity and who we are as a team.
"There's only one goal this year and that's to win a championship so whatever it takes to make that happen we'll figure it out."
Curry also stated that winning 74 regular-season games is not a priority target as the Warriors attempt to regain the NBA title.
"We wish we could've got both [the championship and the record] last year but it didn't work out that way," he added.
"This year 74 [wins] isn't really a goal, if it happens it happens but all of our energy will be spent on getting ourselves ready for a championship run.
"We want to have a great regular season obviously, you don't want any slip-ups. I don't think coming into the season with the objective of 74 [wins] is a good focus, it's about winning a championship."