Dwyane Wade knew well the difficulty in reaching the NBA’s peak — and knew even more how hard it was to get back there again — and wanted Steph Curry to share in that wisdom.
The Miami Heat legend opened up this week about the advice he gave Curry after the Golden State Warriors knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals, that last time that Curry has raised the trophy. That advice may carry more weight now as Curry tries to bring his team back from the basement of the Western Conference and put back the pieces of the team that had dominated the league for five straight seasons.
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Wade Shares Wisdom With Curry
In a conversation with The Undefeated, Wade said he sought out Curry to congratulate him after the Warriors ran through the Cavaliers en route to a sweep in 2018. Wade had started the season with Cleveland but went back to the Heat in a February trade that allowed him to finish his career where it began. He returned to the NBA Finals as a spectator, and afterward told Curry to savor the moment.
“Nothing lasts forever,” Wade told The Undefeated about his advice to Curry. “We just came off that same high they were on. I wanted to let him know to enjoy it because it’s not ever guaranteed to be this way for the rest of your career.”
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) April 23, 2021
The advice has since been prescient. The Warriors returned to the NBA Finals the following season but lost in six games to the Toronto Raptors. Golden State was beset by injuries in the 2019-20 season, losing Klay Thompson and then Curry and falling to the bottom of the conference.
Thompson was hurt again just prior to the start of this season, leaving Curry to lead the team by himself. The Warriors have hovered around the edge of playoff contention, currently holding the No. 10 spot that gives them the final spot in the play-in tournament.
Curry Heeds Wade’s Advice
Though there were no signs that the Warriors dynasty would be falling anytime soon when Wade delivered his advice, Curry said he understood well what he was saying. Wade led his team to an NBA title in his third season in the league in 2006, then returned five years later with LeBron James and Chris Bosh only to lose to the underdog Dallas Mavericks. Wade would go on to win back-to-back titles with James and Bosh, but learned not to take any season for granted.
“That is a message that is real,” Curry told The Undefeated about Wade’s advice. “When you’re on top, it’s hard to see anything other than when you’re on top and being in that environment. Atmosphere is everything. That’s the energy and the juice and a level of basketball that you appreciate the most. So when you get on the other side and you’re trying to get back there, you do have an appreciation for the climb and for what that journey is.”
3x MVP Stephen Curry 🔜?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 21, 2021
Curry added that the memories of his trips to the NBA Finals, both the failed trip two seasons ago and the win three years ago, keep him motivated to get back. In doing so this season, he has turned in one of the best campaigns of his career, with numbers nearly identical to his unanimous MVP season.
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