Steph Curry, A.K.A. the Baby-Faced Assassin, A.K.A. Chef Curry, A.K.A the Human Torch, turns 32 today. The predominant superstar of the last half-century who burst onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in 2013, Curry completely changed the game of basketball-- and he has plenty of good years ahead of him, if his body doesn't fail him.
Part of the reason for Curry's relatively late ascendance to the upper echelon was an injury-riddled start to his career. After going seventh overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, Curry struggled with various ankle maladies, culminating in only 26 games played in the 2011-12 season. Once he got right, everything fell into place. The following season is when he jacked up his three-point attempts per game to over seven and hit 45 percent of them. The percentages and attempts, as well as his career trajectory, would only go up from there.
Curry was more or less fully healthy over the following six seasons that featured five straight NBA Finals runs. For a player who was seen as fragile early in the decade, Curry certainly proved everyone wrong with the endurance to not only survive but thrive in nearly five consecutive 100-game seasons. But all that injury luck swung the other way this past October, when Curry went down for five months with a broken hand after Aron Baynes fell on him. Pretty much everyone, professional athlete or no, would be out of commission for that long if Aron freakin' Baynes fell on them. But we were once again without one of the most exciting players in the league.
Curry is now on the back half of his career with a game that could age like fine wine. He relies more on quickness and agility than sheer athleticism, and obviously his ability to hit from three-point land shouldn't be affected by his declining vertical. His threat as an off-ball shooter could slowly reduce as he loses the stamina to sprint around screens all day, but that's always been more Klay Thompson's vibe, anyhow. It's easy to envision a near future where Curry thrives as Golden State's fulcrum for another three years before taking a backseat to whatever young buck they've brought in to take the reins, and sticks around for a while longer as the world's most lethal three-point specialist.
All of that, of course, is dependent on his health. It's a bit of an overstated generalization that Curry is injury-prone, but he's been pretty regularly banged-up in some way, shape, or form over the last four years. The Warriors are the only team to have been eliminated from the playoffs before the season was postponed, so if it eventually resumes (please) he won't have to worry about putting even more miles on his body this year. We could be seeing the healthiest version of the superstar we've seen in five years come October 2020. Let's hope that is the case, because there's no one quite like Steph Curry when he's cookin'.