A hobbled Stephen Curry struggled throughout the 2016 NBA Finals, but having used the summer to rest and rebuild his body, the reigning MVP’s trainer says Curry has never felt stronger.

Curry took five weeks off after his Warriors blew a 3-1 lead against Cleveland, and then spent the rest of the offseason working out with Brandon Payne.

The Curry camp refuses to make any excuses for the 28-year-old’s poor play in the championship round.

Per USA Today:

Aside from a two-week run-up after his extended break, they went “pedal to the medal.” Twice a day, six days a week, the routine interrupted briefly by Curry’s Under Armour trip to China in early September. The good news, as Payne sees it? […] “He’s the strongest he’s ever been,” he said with a smile.

 

Q: There was so much talk about Steph’s knee and the part it played in the Finals. How did you see it? How bad a shape was he in?

 

A: “You know, the injury he had, it wasn’t a bad injury. It just needed rest. That’s really all it was. It wasn’t like he was ever in jeopardy of having a procedure or anything like that. He just needed rest. So five weeks of rest was good.”

 

Q: You have a different lens than the rest of us when it comes to him. What did you see as far as his play during the Finals?

 

A: “As bad as I wanted it to be him, it wasn’t him. Yeah. We don’t like to make excuses, and we’re not going to make excuses because all that matters is what happens in the 48 minutes when you’re on the floor. I wish it was the other version of him, the version that we saw for 82 games.”

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