How Stephen Curry Got the Warriors 'Locked In'

The roots of Golden State's impressive win were apparently sown the night before when Stephen Curry addressed teammates in what some later called “the greatest speech of his career.”

He was already considered one of the greatest players in NBA history, a four-time champion, nine-time All-Star, the league’s all-time leader in three-point makes.

But on Sunday, 35-year-old Stephen Curry added to his legacy with one of the great Game 7 performances of all time — pouring in 50 points in the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Sacramento Kings.

Curry’s brilliance wasn’t just displayed on the court, though. The seeds of his team’s impressive road win were apparently sown the night before when he addressed teammates in what some later called “the greatest speech of his career.”

According to The Athletic, Curry reassured his teammates they had enough to win and asked for their trust in return — insisting he could deliver them to the next round if the group checked egos for a day and simply focused on their larger mission.

“Anyone who wanted to remain in their emotions, he told them to stay home. Anyone who was ready for their vacation, he told them not to get on the bus for Sacramento,” The Athletic reported.

“But anyone who did get on the bus, Curry took that as a signature of approval, a binding agreement to be on board with the mission. And if they did that, if they got on the bus, he promised he’d deliver. With his game, his faith, their solidarity, they’d win.

In essence, Curry:

1. Instilled realistic faith
2. Established accountability
3. Confronted egos
4. Created a cause
5. Unified a group

“It gave me chills,” Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins said. “No. 30, he’s different, man.”

“Once he did that, you have no choice but to rise up,” added Warriors forward Draymond Green. “He f-----g got everybody locked in.”

Part of the brilliance of Curry’s messaging was how rare it actually was. He’s typically a more reserved superstar who prefers to lead by example than to get in anyone’s face.

But for any leader, it’s pivotal to know when we have to step forward and when we’re best to sit back. Rare circumstances, like Sunday’s, may require us to go against our default setting.

Curry did — and now his team advances to the next round to take on the Los Angeles Lakers.

While his 50-point performance will be celebrated for years to come, we might want to remember more than just the basketball element of it.

It was an iconic display of actions matching words — and a powerful reminder that when an accountable leader speaks up, all ears will tune in.