Jeremy Lin realized Steph Curry was different during Lin's rookie season with the Warriors, and it wasn't for his otherworldly talent. It was for his toughness.
Curry badly sprained his ankle in a 23-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on April 11, 2011. It was the second-to-last game of the season, and the Warriors weren't going to be a playoff team. Not even close.
But Curry played two days later in the season finale, scoring 18 points in a 24-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Over 10 years later, Lin can't help but marvel at what Curry still is doing for the Warriors.
"I think Steph is just doin' whatever the hell he wants right now. ... He is literally changing the game, man," Lin said to former Warriors Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the latest "All The Smoke" podcast. "Like, that's happening in front of us. He's literally changing the game."
The Warriors failed to make the playoffs after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA play-in tournament, but Curry's greatness can't be forgotten. He led the NBA in scoring this season, averaging 32.0 points per game at 33 years old and is a top-three finalist to win his third MVP.
More than anything, Lin just wants everybody to understand what they're watching every time Curry steps on the court.
"I hope people can appreciate it," Lin said.
Truth be told, Steph's greatness likely never will be fully appreciated outside of the Bay Area until his playing days are done. People might be sick of hearing it, but he did change the game forever.
Whether it be Curry or any other player, appreciate greatness. It doesn't last forever, and it's more rare than we realize.