It was the 2008 NCAA Tournament when the world was first introduced to a wiry, baby-faced assassin that could shoot the lights out. His name was Stephen Curry, the son of former NBA sharpshooter, Dell Curry. After being one of the top scorers in the country during the regular season at small school Davidson, Curry had a chance to put his greatness on display on the biggest stage in college basketball. That’s exactly what he did. The next couple of weeks it was Curry and Davidson that captured the hearts of the nation, stole the headlines of the NCAA Tournament, and showed opponents that small school Davidson could play with anybody in College Basketball. Davidson slayed Gonzaga, Georgetown, and Wisconsin before being edged by Kansas in the Elite Eight. Despite losing to Kansas, I can remember being firmly planted in front of my T.V. to watch Davidson every time they played. It was a tremendous story and a tremendous run that I will never forget. What made it so impressive was that no one could stop Stephen Curry. He was the star of the tournament and despite the fact that defenses geared up to stop him, not one team was able to do it until Kansas in the Elite Eight. It was one of the best individual tournament runs that I have ever seen given all the circumstances.
Flash forward to 2010 and Stephen Curry is doing similar things with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA. Curry is pushing Tyreke Evans hard for the Rookie of the Year award and making a number of General Manager’s regret letting him slide all the way to number seven in the NBA Draft.
Stephen Curry joined KNBR in San Francisco with Fitz and Brooks to talk about how he is adjusting to life in the NBA, how he has able to stay relatively healthy when a lot of people questioned it (editor’s note: this interview took place Weds afternoon and he missed his first game of the season Weds night unexpectedly) , and what it’s like to play with Monta Ellis.
On whether or not he still feels confident taking the last shot after missing the other night against Los Angeles:
“I’m still gonna have confidence whenever that opportunity presents itself again to take a big shot. The play was drawn up for me, Corey (Maggette) made a great pass and it just didn’t fall. Next time it happens, I feel like it’s just another shot, I’m gonna take it, knock it down, and go about my business.”
On how he has been able to stay healthy:
“I don’t know what it is. Just got a lot of energy and thank God that I don’t have any injuries that have lasted very long. Just sticking to my routine that I started earlier in the year to get myself ready for every game. Hopefully it’ll help me get a long career and get through this year.”
On transitioning his game to point guard in the NBA:
“If you watched highlights of my college career, my first two years, my freshman and sophomore years, all I did was come off screens and pretty much shoot. I played the point guard for about three minutes per game. Then last year, my junior year, that was something that I knew I had to work on if I was gonna make the transition to the NBA. I played full time point guard, had to do a lot of scoring, but at certain points, you’re gonna see double teams and more aggressive defenses and you gotta be able to distribute the ball where is supposed to go to make the easy shot. All of last year and the first half of this year, I really developed my point guard skills and hopefully will continue get better.”
On playing alongside Monta Ellis:
“It’s a lot of fun. One for me, I get the best seat in the house to watch him do what he does night in and night out. He gets to the basket whenever he wants to, he’s playing great defense, taking that challenge on, and I’m having a lot of fun playing with him. I think we both take a little pressure off each other. You can’t really take anything away from both of us because his speed and athleticism and my shooting and passing ability, I think it’s a pretty good tandem to have. Hopefully we stay together, get some guys healthy, go from there, and see what happens.”
On dealing with the pressure of living up to his father’s reputation:
“In high school, I felt that pressure every day especially playing in a city where he was a legend in. Everybody knew his face; he came to all my games. Opposing school’s and there little fan sections would heckle me all game about me being a daddy’s boy and daddy can’t help you on the court and stuff like that. Once I dealt with the pressures in high school, I felt like I was ready to go. Going to college, it turned into how was I going to be successful going to such a small school and playing against the big guys. It wasn’t really much my dad it was a whole ‘nother challenge to live up to. My teammates in college and Coach McKillop at Davidson, they helped me get to where I am now. Now it’s just about having fun, continue what I’m doing that got me here, and not really worrying about any pressure to live up to my dad or anything like that.”