Gary Payton II’s Insights: The Challenge of Defending Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors have been championship contenders in the Western Conference for the last decade. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have a lot to do with why this team has captured four titles since 2015, but ultimately, Stephen Curry is the face of the franchise.
Gary Payton II perfectly describes guarding Steph Curry in Warriors  practice – NBC Sports Bay Area & California

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One of the greatest players of all-time and no doubt the greatest shooter to ever player in the NBA, Curry has redefined how basketball gurus evaluate the three-point shot. Single-handedly changing the way the game is played, Curry has left his mark on this league. Now in his 15th year in the NBA, Curry continues to cause headaches for teams and players around the league.

As a matter of fact, even his own teammates are still left in shaking their heads at some of the things he can do. Gary Payton II was recently being recorded during a Warriors practice and some of his thoughts on Curry’s greatness were captured.
Klay Thompson: Steph Curry is 'The Most Humble Superstar' Ever - Inside the  Warriors

“It’s annoying guarding him bro. Annoying cause you can’t rest,” Payton told forward Jonathan Kuminga. “Because soon as you rest, he’s open, and it’s bad. Yeah, he don’t stop moving, and his cuts are so quick, it’s just like, you know, he only needs that much space.”

Kuminga told Payton that people think Curry will lose the ball when he dribbles, but he is just as good of a ball-handler as he is a shooter. Payton’s response to this was simple, “It’s just so effortless.”

It seems like Steph is getting better each and every year, which is a scary thought seeing as he is a nine-time All-Star, a two-time MVP, and recently named the 2022 NBA Finals MVP. Even at 35 years old, Curry is still proving to be an elite-level shooter, which is why he’s truly one of a kind.

“You’re never going to have to guard nobody like him. Never,” Payton continued to share with Kuminga. “You’re not going to have to guard no one. Either they can somewhat shoot like him, which really it’s only one person who does it is Dame [Damian Lillard], but nobody move like 30. So if they move like 30, they don’t shoot like 30.

“He’s a special, special, special specimen.”

While the Warriors suffered a home loss in their first game of the 2023-24 season, Curry still left his mark offensively. Despite shooting 8-for-20 from the floor, Steph managed to record 27 points, including four made threes.
Warriors lineup news: Are Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green  playing, injured, or resting tonight vs. the Pelicans? - DraftKings Network

The entire NBA world knows what Curry is capable of doing on a nightly basis and he is able to have monstrous nights without even thinking about it. This is what makes him so special and why Gary Payton II claims the star makes everything look so effortless.

A true superstar in this league that is showing no signs of slowing down, Stephen Curry will be looking to get the Warriors their first victory of the new season on Friday night against the Sacramento Kings.

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