The Warriors had a tumultuous 2011-12 season laced with injuries and highlighted by trading one of the team’s most popular players.
The move that sent Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut raised enough ire among fans that they booed team owner Joe Lacob at a halftime ceremony honoring former Warrior icon Chris Mullin. The move also handed the reins of the team to Stephen Curry, who played in only 26 of the team’s 66 games last season due to recurring ankle problems.
After a summer of rehab, the 24-year-old point guard has been cleared to get back on the floor without worrying about the multiple surgeries on his right ankle.
“I’m feeling great,” Curry said recently at a pro camp he put on with his father, former NBA star Del Curry, at St. Ignatius High School. “I took advantage of the summer to kind of get back to 100 percent before training camp so I can ease my way back in to training camp and get ready for preseason games and obviously Oct. 31 we need to be ready. It’s a big year for the Warriors and I want to be a part of it.”
Curry said he will use training camp, which kicks off today, and the preseason to get himself back into game shape before the Warriors’ season opener in Phoenix on Halloween.
Though he has only three NBA seasons under his belt, he has already seen an overhaul in the Warriors roster since his rookie season. His only teammate from the 2009-10 season who is still with the team is Andris Biedrins, who will have a rough time getting playing time behind Bogut as long as the Australian big man stays healthy.
“It’s a different crop of guys,” Curry said. “That happens in the NBA. And you’ve just got to go with the flow and get the camaraderie going on an accelerated basis.”
Curry has already begun working with the team’s new rookies — Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green — and Curry said he has high expectations for the three youngsters. Though Curry didn’t get to watch them play in the summer league, he said they have already made an impression on him during their first two weeks working together.
“They’re working hard,” he said. “They’re going to have a big role and factor on the team and it’s going to be fun to watch them grow.”
The Warriors’ preseason schedule begins in Fresno against the Lakers on Sunday. Their first home preseason game is the following night against the Utah Jazz.