Forty months ago, Stephen Curry stood on a makeshift podium at Oracle Arena staring intently at his second straight MVP trophy.
In the months leading prior, Curry had put together one of the most efficient scoring seasons ever, earning the first unanimous MVP in league history while leading Golden State to a league-record 73 wins.
More than three years later, on a team with eight new faces and Klay Thompson out for the majority of the season, Curry is on fertile ground to replicate the best season of his career, and if you let him tell it, the thought has crossed his mind.
"At the end of the day, winning an MVP would be special," Curry said in a recent interview with Rachel Nichols on ESPN's "The Jump." "And it's something that -- I've experienced before and would love to experience again.
"I'd love to push the envelope," Curry added as he showed Nichols around the recently opened Chase Center -- the Warriors' new San Francisco home. "Push the limits a little bit."
With that in mind, Curry enters his eleventh season under semi-similar circumstances as he did in his illustrious second MVP campaign.
The Warriors were months removed from the 2015 NBA title and Curry was tasked with carrying the biggest offensive burden in the league.
Over the 82-game schedule, Curry had the highest player efficiency rating since 1991, while leading the league in 3-pointers made (402), steals (169), win-shares (17.9) and value over replacement (9.8) while finishing second in usage.
For the Warriors to stay afloat this season, a similar offensive load will be expected for Curry.
Two months ago, Kevin Durant opted to join the Brooklyn Nets in a sign-and-trade, prompting a restructuring in Golden State that brought eight new players to the roster, including all-star guard D'Angelo Russell. Adding to the conundrum, Thompson -- who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in June -- will be out for the majority of the season.
Under the current roster structure, the Warriors need Curry to be historically great once again, something he seems to be aware of.
"I always say, I'm playing like I'm the best player on the floor no matter what the situation is," Curry told Nichols. "That's my mentality. It might not mean I'm taking every shot, but that's the aggressiveness that I need to play with and the confidence I need to have."
The key to Curry's season will be his health. Over the last two seasons, Curry has missed a combined 44 games due to injury, including 31 during the 2017-18 season. Last season, it was a non-contact groin injury that forced the guard to miss more than two weeks. The season before, a series of ankle injuries undermined one of the best statistical seasons of his career, as he missed the most games since 2012 when ankle surgery ended his season.
If his health holds up, Curry should lead the MVP conversation for much of the season, and he could be staring at his third Maurice Podoloff Trophy next summer.
Steph Curry primed for another MVP season after Warriors' roster change originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area