No shooter in the NBA can get hot like Stephen Curry. The NBA's MVP averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists and 4.3 assists while setting a league-record for 3-point makes in a season, and his playoff heroics have Golden State nearing a title.
But can the 27-year-old sharpshooter and the Warriors end four decades of disappointment and bring the Bay Area its first pro basketball championship since 1975? If Curry's hot hand is any indication, Golden State's opponents may be in for a rough ride.
Athletes are often described as being "in the zone." But Curry takes it a step further with the "Curry Zone," in which he one shot after another goes through the net. His teammates reap the benefits too.
"You keep your foot down and consume yourself with everything else that’s happening, every other little detail,” Curry told Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins for this week's cover story on the MVP. “The idea is to shut out every possible distraction, and think about your teammates, so you don’t think about yourself. Because you know the hot is eventually going to run out and the moment is going to pass.”
The "Curry Zone" started when he was six, according to a former rec center coach and through the years he has continued to light up AAU, college and professional teams and was rewarded with the league's highest individual honor this season.
Just eight victories from the promised land, the spotlight that is on Curry and the Warriors is bigger than ever.
“On the big stage everything slows down,” Curry says. “You’re comfortable. You’re not rushed. You know it’s do or die, but you treat it like it’s game 27. You can do that because you’ve been there before—and failed.”
For more on Curry, check out Lee Jenkins story in this week's Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).
Also in this issue: a feature on Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, plus continuing coverage of the NBA and NHL playoffs.
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