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Steph Curry looks to Tom Brady for inspiration in pursuit of NBA longevity

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Stephen Curry wants to play basketball as long as the game still brings him joy, according to NBC Sports Monte Poole. He’s about to enter his 13th season in the NBA, all of them with Golden State after the Warriors picked the 6-foot-3 guard seventh overall in 2009.

When looking for longevity in sports, Curry knows there is no better player to study than Tom Brady.

“Absolutely. I’ve actually talked to him, personally, about this,” Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s at the point now where he can look back and talk about that with some authority and experience.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the basketball during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center.

“But even he said, in the moment, when he was in his early-30s, mid-30s, late-30s, it was always, ‘I think I’ve still got two more years in me. Stay. Do everything I can to sustain yourself and stay physically and mentally sharp.’ And then you look up and you’re saying that again, saying it in the next two years. And you’re saying it again.”

The 44-year-old quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is set play in his 22nd NFL season. He’s led his teams – the Bucs and the New England Patriots – to 10 Super Bowl appearances and seven victories, including his most recent one this year, where he was named MVP with the Bucs.

Brady has cemented his spot in football history. He needs six more seasons to dethrone George Blanda as the NFL player with the most career seasons.

“I’ll know when the time’s right,” Brady said to NBC Sports. “If I can’t…if I’m not a championship-level quarterback, then I’m not going to play. If I’m a liability to the team, I mean, now way. But if I think I can win a championship, then I’ll play.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) before an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) before an NFL preseason football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.

Curry is looking to duplicate Brady’s success, only in basketball. Earlier this month, he signed a historic four-year, $215 million extension, making him the first NBA player ever to have signed two $200 million-plus contracts. He's set to remain with the only team he’s ever known through 2026.

“It’s dope to think about what has all transpired in the last 12 years,” Curry told The Athletic about signing a new deal. “Thinking about being in the Bay for another five years, taking me to 38, it checks all the boxes in terms of what I’m trying to do with my career.”

Last season, he was named back-to-back Player of the Month for the first time in his career. Curry already has three championship rings, leading the Warriors to wins in 2015, 2017 and 2018. On top of that, he’s a seven-time All-NBA, two-time NBA MVP and won the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

Curry will look to add more to that resume, but for now, he’s not thinking about retirement or what’s down the road, according to NBC Sports.

“It’s all about staying in the moment, and not fast-forwarding, putting too much pressure on yourself to reach that milestone,” he said. “You do everything now to set yourself up for now and the future. Staying in the moments is all a part of getting there. So, the vision is there. But I’m looking forward to the next 12 months.”

Contact Alyssa Hertel at ahertel@usatoday.com or on Twitter @AlyssaHertel.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steph Curry looks to Tom Brady for inspiration in pursuit of longevity