Perhaps the surest bet in sports during most of this millennium was going against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots reaching the Super Bowl. And it remained so even as the quarterback entered the sunset of his NFL career.
The Golden State Warriors believe Stephen Curry, like Brady, always will point them toward the NBA Finals – and they’re not alone in that belief.
Rapper and noted basketball junkie Lil Wayne recently went so far as to make a comparison between Curry’s Warriors and Brady’s Patriots. Asked his favorites to reach the NBA Finals, Wayne’s answer was the Milwaukee Bucks and Warriors, which surprised his son, Kameron.
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“I did not think you were about to say the Warriors,” Kameron Carter said.
So, Wayne, born Dwayne Carter Jr., offered an explanation.
“When you count Steph out, it’s like how you used to feel when you count Brady out,” he said. “In them Patriot years where you just thought that they not gonna win, and then they’d be in the f---ing Super Bowl. That’s how I be feeling about Steph.
“Every time I’m ready to say, ‘Yeah, Steph’s starting to get old,’ that boy be right there in the Finals.”
Golden State Warriors
When those comments were relayed to Curry during the latest "Dubs Talk," which debuted Thursday, the 35-year-old superstar didn’t try to hide his smile.
“I appreciate the compliment,” Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I'm understanding how competitive I am, the culture that we have around here, that we truly believe we can win . . .
“Expectations are so high that when we lose in the second round like we did last year, it felt so disappointing and empty. But you still remember how hard it is to win at this level.
“So, I appreciate somebody who watched it a lot; I know (Wayne) has watched a lot of basketball.”
Wayne’s belief is rooted in the fact that the Warriors have appeared in six of the last nine NBA Finals. They’ve won four of them, most recently in 2022 over the Boston Celtics, with Curry voted Finals MVP.
Lil Wayne’s NBA credentials are respected enough that he has appeared on numerous sports shows discussing teams and players around the league. He also makes frequent use of marquee NBA names – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Gary Payton – in his song lyrics.
Curry recalls Wayne attending a Warriors game in San Antonio during the 2016-17 season.
“You could just tell he’s a hoop head,” Curry said. “So, for him to make that connection with greatness and championship mindset and whatnot like that means the world because that’s how I approach every day.”
Brady and the Patriots parted ways in March 2020 after failing to agree to the terms of a new contract. The quarterback, then 42 years old, quickly signed with Tampa Bay two days later and led the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl championship the following February.
The Warriors only hope Curry greatness and defiance of age always will point them toward the 2024 NBA Finals and many more after that.