Any given manager, GM, or anyone at the helm of a sports franchise dreams of getting their hands on a centerpiece, a face for their franchise, someone around whom they can build a team. This player serves not only as an in-game leader, but as a cornerstone to the community in which they play, recognizable to many, and in some instances, is seen as somewhat of a hero. In the case of Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, this is a status that is presently being built. Curry exploded into the spotlight of the sports world during his collegiate career at Davidson, in which is exemplary play and inhuman statistical production captivated many, and brought him to the Bay Area as the seventh overall draft pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Since his debut in the NBA, not only has Curry produced at an outstanding level, but has become the focal point for the Warriors’ success.
Golden State was in the middle of a descent into the basement of the West entering the 2009 season; after posting two consecutive winnings seasons, which the Warriors had not done since the early nineties, they lacked a true leader on the court and their record dropped by nineteen games. Acquiring Curry did not have an immediate impact, as the Warriors finished his first season at 26-56, but have improved over the course of his career to the point that consistently making the playoffs could be a quite reachable goal. Over that span, one could see the impact Stephen Curry has made purely by looking at the team’s win percentage. In games, starting in his rookie season in 2009, in which Curry played, the Warriors had a win percentage of .450, which was anchored down by his first couple of seasons in the league. However, when the team lacked their Davidson graduate, they posted a percentage of a feeble .296. Should Golden State hope to be making the playoffs every season, they need to make sure their top scorer remains on the court.
Having Curry on in play on a consistent basis is vital to the Warriors, as he is not only integral to the team as far as his own production, but to the way that the team’s formula requires him on the court. This is not only due to his own production, but the way he elevates the general play of his peers. He is surrounded by an excellent supporting cast, with a fellow three point marksman in Klay Thompson, an extraordinarily versatile player in Andre Iguodala, and a duel threat in the post that commands the attention of any opponent the Warriors face with Andrew Bogut and David Lee. When Golden State has their starting point guard in play, it allows the rest of the team to play more freely due to having one of the best three point shooters in recent memory leading the way. It commands opposing defenses to protect outside more, which allows Bogut and Lee to dominate on rebounds, much like they did last season. Curry also adds a great element defensively, as his ability to take the ball out of the other team’s hands has been made more apparent recently. As he continues to develop, and the rest of the team meshes along with him, Golden State can expect to continue to drastically improve around their exceptionally talented leader.