SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. – Many of the NBA’s best players gathered in Las Vegas this week to begin training with Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics, but Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry finds himself in another part of Nevada competing in a different sport.
Curry, who is participating in this weekend’s American Century Championship golf tournament, offered his first public explanation Thursday about why he is in Lake Tahoe and not “Sin City.”
“It was a tough decision,” Curry said. “Being out of this postseason and the condensed schedule, the protocols and obviously where I am in my career, I value the offseason and I’m working the court, but to try to go play, there’s a lot that could happen. all the players who go and play in Las Vegas and I wish them every success and a gold medal to prove it.
“It just wasn’t right for me. And I’m very confident in that decision. I don’t regret it at all. Obviously, being here I’m playing golf, having fun with my family. And that’s personal.”
Beyond the cost of a condensed schedule and the necessary COVID-19 protocols, Curry acknowledged that he did take into account some of the injuries that have plagued the NBA Playoffs when analyzing his own health heading into next season.
“It takes everything into account,” Curry said. “I take how I feel physically, mentally, what is happening in the League, all those things, it is not a specific reason or a part of it, but just knowing at the end of the day if I want to play or not. And the answer was a ‘no’ at the end of the day. And preparing for next season, a relatively quick change is important to me and I have a plan of how to do it and prepare for when training camp starts. “
Curry won a pair of gold medals playing for Team USA at the world championships, but was unable to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro because he was recovering from knee and ankle injuries.
“There’s always the urge to play and play on the biggest stage like the Olympics, but it just wasn’t the right thing for me or the right time,” Curry said.
Team USA opened its training camp in Las Vegas on Tuesday and is scheduled to play seven exhibition games there against other Olympic teams before departing for Tokyo later this month.
Curry is in Lake Tahoe with his father, Dell, and his brother, Seth, who also play in this weekend’s tournament along with more than 80 celebrities and athletes. It’s Curry’s ninth appearance at the annual tournament, while Dell is at No. 7 and Seth is making his debut.
Curry has finished fourth in the tournament three times, including in 2020. The Curry family is the first to have three members participating at the same time in the tournament’s 32-year history, according to a spokesperson.
“As avid golfers, you can never play enough,” said Dell Curry. “And as a parent, you can never play enough with your two children. I love the game too. So we look forward to this week.”