Stephen Curry Blames Himself For Warriors’ Loss To LeBron’s Cavaliers In 2016 NBA Finals

Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts against the Toronto Raptors in the second half during Game Two of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena on June 02, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

The 2015-16 NBA season is indeed historical for Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, in many ways. It was the season that saw Curry win his second Most Valuable Player award, and the Warriors finished the season with a 73-9 record, the most wins in a single season in NBA history. Heading into the 2016 NBA Finals, the Warriors emerged as the heavy favorite to win the finals.

The Warriors defeated every team they faced in the Western Conference, and had a rematch against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors put themselves closer to winning back-to-back NBA championship titles by winning three of the first four games against the Cavaliers. Unfortunately, the Warriors ended up making history for less desirable reasons — eventually becoming the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals.

The 2016 NBA Finals are still fresh in Stephen Curry’s memories. In a recent interview with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN, Curry recalled the final moments of Game 7 against the Cavaliers. When Kyrie Irving hit a three-pointer with 53 seconds left in the game, Curry admitted that the first thing that came into his mind was “I gotta go back at him.”

Confident with his three-point shooting skills, Stephen Curry tried to answer with a deep three, but the ball bounced off the rim — and out. Curry admitted that that decision is still haunting him, as it cost the Warriors the 2016 NBA championship title.

“I’m like, ‘I just need a little space’ — and that’s where I started to rush,” Curry said. “I look back and think I could have easily gone around [Love] and gotten a 2, and we could have gotten a stop, and then I could come back down and hit another shot, and we win another championship, instead of me going for the hero shot, which I felt like I could make. That was a shot where I was not under control. And it cost us a championship.”

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Their 2016 NBA Finals loss is undeniably one of the most heartbreaking moments in Warriors history, but it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Golden State. After a blowing a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers, the Warriors became determined to improve their roster — and ended up signing Kevin Durant in the 2016 NBA free agency. With the core of Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, the Warriors easily won back-to-back NBA championship titles, and succeeded in building a dynasty.

As of now, the Warriors are competing in the NBA Finals for the fifth straight year. Though they are the heavy favorite to take home the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy this season, the Warriors’ road to their three-peat won’t be an easy one. Some of their core players, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, are dealing with injuries. Game 3 of the 2019 NBA Finals between the Warriors and the Toronto Raptors will take place on Wednesday night, at the Oracle Arena.