Steph 'not slowing down' as historic legend keeps growing originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
This wasn't supposed to happen. His frame was too frail, his ankles too suspect. He was a tweener, and his shot selection was too questionable to be continuously productive for the Warriors at the NBA level.
He'd break down. Wash out. Maybe he'd have a successful career like JJ Redick. He was probably destined for a bench guard role like Daniel Gibson, or he'd wash out of the league like Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf .
There were questions about whether the Warriors should give him or Acie Law minutes in the fourth quarter, and doubts about whether he could be one of the top players on a winning team, let alone the gravitational center of one of the NBA's most feared dynasties.
But Steph Curry never faltered. He heard the doubts and criticisms, logged them in his mind and went to work proving them wrong.
Twelve seasons, 745 regular-season games, 124 playoff games, 2,719 3-pointers, three titles and two MVPs later, and Curry has crafted one of the most improbable rises to greantess in NBA history, adding to it Monday night when he passed Wilt Chamberlain as the Warriors' all-time leading scorer.
It was an important milestone for Curry to soak in. Not only because it showed his longevity and scoring prowess, but because of who he passed, the fact that he did it all in the place he's called home since 2009 and because it's far from the last bit of history he'll write in ink on his Hall of Fame resume.
"This is special man," Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area's Bonta Hill and Dorell Wright on "Warriors Postgame Live" after the Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 116-107. "Now that we got the win I can kind of process what just happened over these last 12 years, all the teammates that I've played with, coaching staff, ownership, our fans. I've had some amazing experiences here. Any time you hear Wilt you just assume his record is unreachable. I guess I did play six extra years here but it still means something to be at the top of that list and I'm forever grateful to everyone who has poured into me to let me be able to do what I do on the court -- my family. I don't plan on slowing down obviously, but this is one to take a second and appreciate for sure."
Curry's rise from questionable draft pick to transcendent star was only improbable to those who didn't know him, his work ethic and desire to be great.
The draft critics of Curry weren't totally off on some of the notes. His shot selection didn't change. Instead, he worked tirelessly to make the 30-35 foot 3-pointer a good shot when he takes it. Something opponents rightfully feared and that head coach Steve Kerr would only shrug his shoulders and smirk at as Curry shimmied down the court after connecting on another long-range bomb.
He has spent his career dicing up teams off screens and dissecting them with relentless cutting. Countless shooters with perceived athletic issues have been sent out of the league in short order. But not Curry. He worked tirelessly to perfect his physical fitness, maximized his strength and minimized his weaknesses. That work ethic and desire to be great caused him to improve every season until he reached the top of the NBA hierarchy, where he has stayed ever since.
Curry's legend shouldn't be a surprise, no. Motivated by both the love of the game and desire to prove his doubters wrong, Curry worked relentlessly to build himself into an all-time great. He hammered away at the rock every day until one day it finally split in two, and the NBA's greatest shooter arose from the rubble.
Three championships, two MVPs and countless records later, Curry has nothing left to prove to anyone. He'll tell you he still has things to accomplish. He'd no doubt love to check the NBA Finals MVP box on his resume. Rebuilding the Warriors' dynasty with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green by his side and leading Golden State to another title would only thrust Curry further into the stratosphere.
Where once there were doubts and questions, only title, accolades and records remain.
Curry is a one-of-one. Like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and the man he passed Monday.
One of the NBA's greatest legacies added another line Monday night. But Curry's pen, the one had authored a transcendent legacy, still has plenty of ink left.