Steph Curry, Klay Thompson proving Splash Brothers still special in 2023
By Alex Espinoza,2023-03-14
SAN FRANCISCO — Everything’s so different, yet it’s all the same.
Steph Curry is officially getting old by existing American sports standards, as he celebrated his 35th birthday with a family dinner following Monday night’s 123-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns. Klay Thompson is a new man after enduring a two-and-half-year layoff from 2019 to 2022.
It’s 2023, but the Splash Brothers are at the top of the NBA’s list for 3-pointers made per game. Steph is pacing everyone with 5.0 threes per contest this season, while Klay (4.4) is in second, ahead of Damian Lillard (4.2). Everyone’s still trying to keep up with the Splash Bros.
It’s been six years since the Splash Brothers finished 1-2 in 3-pointers per game, as Steph led the league with 4.1 and Klay had 3.4 during the title-winning 2016-17 campaign.
They were at the podium together again like old times on Monday night, with Steph eager to get to the dinner table for a late-night birthday celebration. For a couple guys in their 30s, they still act like some fun-loving kids.
As is customary, the 33-year-old Klay started folding a paper airplane on the podium while talking to reporters during the Q&A. But with two microphones, his was laying on the table, while Steph’s was being held propped up by a stand. Steph is a true media professional, so he had to get one more assist in after dishing out five during the game.
“He can hear me,” Klay said with his hands folding an F-16, while Steph held the mic closer to his mouth.
“They can’t hear you out in the world,” Curry said, pointing to the camera.
Klay happily made a second paper airplane for his Splash Brother with another printed out box score. He filled it up Monday night, dropping 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting and 8-of-14 from 3-point land with five assists. While Thompson was fired up to face Devin Booker, Curry outdueled his longtime foe Chris Paul.
Steph finished with a ho-hum 23 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point land, with seven assists and five rebounds. And a sweet paper airplane.
“I got a birthday gift out of it,” Steph said of his rare side-by-side press conference with Klay. “That’s dope.”
“That’s a machine right there,” Klay said, while admiring the perfect angles on his latest airborne creation.
At times it seems like the entire franchise has been lugging around a weight this season – whether it be Draymond Green’s punch of Jordan Poole, James Wiseman’s struggles, the horrible road performances, the fourth-quarter collapses – but Monday’s moment felt like a throwback to the good ol’ days of the dynasty. A dash of Oracle’s magic sprinkled at Chase.
Father Time catches everyone eventually, but he might have to be well-conditioned to keep up with Steph. When Curry was asked which part of his body felt 35 – Klay answered the question for him.
“The vertical,” he said.
Steph said it’s just a matter of putting in the time and effort to maintain his body and peak conditioning at this point. His shot won’t fade anytime soon, but it’s his ability to stay in perpetual motion and exploit quick cracks of daylight which makes him Steph. He’s still got it at 35.
“It’s not glorious at all,” Curry said. “Maintain that and I got a lot more years left in me.”
At long last, he let the F-16 take flight.
They might be demigods in the eyes of Dub Nation, but the Splash Brothers aren’t immortal. So enjoy their joint press conferences and mundane moments of joy while you can. And all the 3-pointers. And all the paper airplane tosses.