Warriors

Ex-Warriors coach Don Nelson cites moment he fell in love with Steph Curry

Ex-Warriors coach Don Nelson cites moment he fell in love with Steph Curry

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

March 23, 2009 is a date that Warriors fans should never forget.

Why?

Because that night, Don Nelson went to see Steph Curry in person when Davidson traveled to the Bay Area for an NIT matchup.

"He played against Saint Mary’s, and I went to the game. I fell in love with the kid," the former Warriors head coach told Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group.

Curry racked up 26 points (11-for-27 FG), nine rebounds and five assists (plus six turnovers) in an 80-68 loss to the Gaels. It was the final game of his illustrious college career.

Three months later, the Warriors selected Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

"I was able to draft Steph and he’s been as good or better than anybody believed he would be," Nelson added. "We all thought he was going to be terrific. But wow. He is one of the best to ever to it.”

While Nelson didn't think Curry would turn into a two-time MVP, "I thought he would be a perennial All-Star and one of the top point guards in the league," he said.

Nelson also wasn't sure if Curry would even be available when Golden State was on the clock. Fortunately for the Warriors, Minnesota took Ricky Rubio at No. 5 and Jonny Flynn at No. 6.

[REWINDSteph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him]

As they say, the rest is history.

"I would have taken him No. 2 that year," Nelson said back in October. "I would have taken (Blake) Griffin first and then I would have taken him above everybody in the draft."

Hey, that Don Nelson guy is pretty smart.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

NBA players 'enjoy' Steph Curry being out, Giannis Antetokounmpo says

Steph Curry and the Warriors ran roughshod over the NBA for five years, reaching five consecutive NBA Finals and putting together the league’s greatest regular season ever with 73 wins in 2015-16.

The 2019-20 season has not gone quite the same for Golden State, as Curry remains out since suffering a broken hand on Oct. 30. The Warriors now own the league’s worst record at the All-Star break.

It’s safe to say players around the NBA haven’t exactly sympathized with the organization’s precipitous downturn.

"Let me be honest with you," Giannis told reporters Saturday during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. "The players, we kind of enjoy that he's not playing -- not enjoy that he's hurt. We want him to be healthy, but he just makes it way, way tougher for the rest of the league."

[RELATED: Iguodala opens up about Steph defending him on social media]

It’s not the first time players have publicly stated their appreciation for the Warriors no longer being the unstoppable force they became in the 2010s.

The guard definitely has made life more difficult for defenders over the years, as Curry owns four first-team All-NBA honors as well as the most 3-point field goals among active NBA players.

Curry is aiming to return to the court in early March, and the Warriors will play the Bucks on March 14. Antetokounmpo’s reprieve from facing the two-time MVP might not last much longer, then. 

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

Why Hawks star Trae Young doesn't mind hearing Steph Curry comparisons

If you had a dollar every time someone compared Steph Curry to Trae Young, you'd have a lot of dollars. 

It's an obvious comparison. The Warriors star and the face of the Atlanta Hawks are electric, undersized point guards who can drain shots from just about anywhere on the court. 

Young surely has heard of the similarities countless times, but that doesn't mean he minds the reminder. 

"Who wouldn't want to be compared to MVP and a guy like that," the 21-year-old told reporters Friday ahead of the NBA Rising Stars Challenge. "I don't necessarily get into all that. I don't mind it. I'm glad I'm getting compared to a guy like him than somebody else. It's not a bad thing."

Curry has missed all but four games this season after breaking his left hand a day before Halloween. The two-time MVP will be re-evaluated March 1, and he'll return to the court soon after. 

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard arguably has seized the reigns as the NBA's most ridiculous shot-maker in Curry's absence -- seriously, just look at the Oakland native's game logs since the start of 2020 -- but Young isn't far behind. Young is averaging 29.7 points per game and making 36.9 percent of his 3-point shots. 

[RELATED: Paschall impresses, leads Team USA to Rising Stars win]

He's not quite Curry, of course. The three-time NBA champion has never shot worse than 40 percent from deep in a season in which he played at least 50 games. Curry could retire today as the NBA's fifth-most proficient 3-point shooter (43.5 percent), while Young didn't even cross the 40 percent threshold in his one year at the University of Oklahoma. 

Young's cabinets are missing the hardware that fills Curry's, too. But being mentioned in the same breath at this point in his career? That's more than enough for Young right now.