Warriors

'Relatable' Curry revolutionizing NBA, rewriting history books

stephen-curry-twomvps-2016-ap.jpg

'Relatable' Curry revolutionizing NBA, rewriting history books

OAKLAND – The one-man revolution has become basketball’s evolution. The game now has a clearly defined game within the game, which ensures it’ll never be looked at as it was for the better part of a century.

It’s all because of one man who happens to combine a voracious pursuit of greatness with a gentle façade that invites the world.

Stephen Curry is the new edition, The Revolutionary. He is rewriting basketball, as we knew it, at the rate McDonald’s throws patties on the grill. His latest revision ranks not merely as one of his most impressive but also conceivably the most extraordinary within the sport of basketball and maybe any other sport.

Curry on Tuesday was named the NBA’s MVP – unanimously. There are 131 voters, and Curry was the No. 1 choice every ballot. This is a first, and maybe a last. To understand the magnitude, scroll past the legends of the game and consider those who were denied.

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bill Russell. Wilt Chamberlain, Bob Pettit. LeBron James, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal.

Now consider those who won once or never at all: Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Julius Erving, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.

[RELATED: Curry becomes first unanimous MVP in NBA history]

Legends all, and Curry – less heralded than all of them – now perches on a higher individual peak.

They’re all great, yet Curry has gone where they have not. Leave to Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, to create a space that only Curry occupies.

“You could say the same thing about a lot of MVPs, that they will their team to victory,” Nash said as Curry was presented with his award Tuesday. “They're leaders. They come and they're professional every day and they excel.

“But one of the things I think of when I think of Steph, is that when we look at our league and our game, you can see over a 10- or maybe 20-year period how the game has evolved and changed. But I've never seen it evolve in six months like he's shown us this year with the dexterity and ability to shoot quickly from all over the court, in any direction, the speed and range has changed the game of basketball.”

Magic changed the game, for some. Dr. J and Michael changed the game, for few. Iverson allowed “little” players to dream. Curry is changing the game for players and coaches and scouts and fans.

Curry is that rare athlete who engages many who could not care less. He is creating fans among folks who didn’t know 3-point shot from a 3-point stance. Some still don’t. But they love Steph.

“He’s identifiable; he’s relatable,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. “Maybe that’s his size and stature; he’s not dominating in appearance. He’s also got an easygoing way, which makes him approachable.”

That, and his many humanitarian causes, accounts for the broad appeal. Yet those within the game also are amazed by what Curry does on the court. He rarely ceases to electrify or astound.

That’s because of Curry’s mesmerizing ball-handling exploits. It’s also because of his ability to absorb punishment and bounce back up. It’s because he can score in so many fascinating ways, most notably with a 3-point shot that ignites the Warriors and their fans while demoralizing opponents and their followers.

[RELATED: Steph Curry's full MVP ceremony transcript]

That’s the revolution that has become evolution. Curry has brought a new math to basketball and suddenly everybody must recognize its advantages, beginning with the arithmetic that three is more than two.

One year after making a record 286 3-pointers, Curry this season made 402. He was the first to make more than 270, the first to surpass 280 and the only one to get acquainted with 400.

The 3-pointer has shot to the top of the list for coveted scoring ability. That’s Curry. And voters clearly acknowledged this and more on their ballots.

“I guess I’m surprised it was unanimous, but I would have been surprised if somebody voted against him,” Myers said.

“I thought it would be near unanimous,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I thought there’d be one or two clever people out there that would make some kind of a statement. I equated it to the Baseball Hall of Fame: ‘If Babe Ruth can’t be a unanimous Hall of Fame selection, then who is?’

“People reward winning. And the fact that we won 73 (games), combined with his ridiculous statistics and overall performance and consistency, everybody got it right.”

Yes, they did. Perhaps because they sense the shift, feel the hoops winds blowing in a different direction. The future is here, and it is Curry who delivered it.

“It's a testament to his joy and love of the game and how hard he's worked,” Nash said of Curry’s MVP. “It will be interesting to see how kids are inspired by his play.”

Warriors' Steve Kerr hopes to ease Jordan Poole's G League transition

Warriors' Steve Kerr hopes to ease Jordan Poole's G League transition

SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors rookie guard Jordan Poole has struggled mightily in his first season in the Bay Area. In an effort to combat his troubles, Golden State plans to send the guard to its G League affiliate at an undetermined date. 

"There's nothing set in stone yet," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following practice Tuesday morning. "He'll eventually be there. That's a big part of our development process. Santa Cruz has been a big asset over the years. A lot of players go back and forth, so it'll happen for Jordan at some point."

The Warriors' decision -- first reported Monday by NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole -- comes as Poole's early season is in peril. Over his first 24 appearances, he's shooting just 25.8 percent from the field. In Golden State's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, he collected his first "Did Not Play -- Coach's Decision" distinction, watching all 48 minutes from the bench. 

Poole's playing time this season has come as injuries have mounted. With much of the backcourt -- including All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- out of the lineup, Poole is averaging 24 minutes per game,

Kerr admitted he didn't plan for that strategy when the first-round pick was drafted in June. 

"We've thrown too much at him too fast," he said. "But that's because we've had no choice." 

Last month, Poole shot down any notion that he was concerned with his play, telling NBC Sports Bay Area, "Doing that got me here. Why would I change?" 

However, Kerr had a different tone Tuesday afternoon. When asked wht contributed to Poole's struggles, he cited the 20-year old's age in relation to fellow rookies Eric Paschall (23) and Ky Bowman (22). 

"It's a hard transition from college to pro, but particularly when you're 20 years old and only played two years of college ball," Kerr said. "You're still getting stronger, you're growing, you're maturing. It's easier for a four-year guy like Eric Paschall or (three-year college player) Ky Bowman to come into the NBA. Those few extra years are a big difference.

"That first year it's about figuring everything out, shot selection, defense. Different actions that you have to guard. The speed and strength of your opponent. It's all brand-new.' 

Golden State has had success sending players to the G League in recent years. Last season, guard Jacob Evans averaged 11.3 points. 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 21 appearances with the Santa Cruz Warriors. Former Warriors Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook and Patrick McCaw also spent time in Santa Cruz when they were with Golden State. 

"It's a good wake-up call," Kerr said. "It's not all chartered planes and Four Seasons. You've got to grind through the G League schedule, which is not easy. That's important for young players to feel, too. It's a good situation for us and really for the whole league."

[RELATED: Why Warriors' Lee has felt like he has been in detention]
 
As for Poole, Kerr said the rookie has been working hard despite his bad play. Following Monday's loss, he went through an hour shooting workout in the team's practice facility inside Chase Center. Prior to games, he frequently watches film with assistant Chris DeMarco, giving Kerr optimism Poole can get out of his slump. 

"He's figuring it out and we're helping him along and he's going to grow," Kerr said. "This is going to be a very productive year for him."

Steph Curry says sitting with broken hand 'hardest thing' in career

Steph Curry says sitting with broken hand 'hardest thing' in career

The 2019-20 season has been extremely rough for the Warriors.

It's been even worse for Steph Curry.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” the two-time NBA MVP recently told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.

Wow.

Remember, Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle in May 2011, and then was limited to just 26 (of 66) games during the 2011-12 lockout season.

He had a second procedure in April 2012, and as ESPN's Pablo Torre wrote in February 2016: "Curry didn't know if he'd wake up owning a dead man's tendons. The worst-case scenario now? Total re-reconstruction, meaning that everything rebuilt in Curry's first surgery would be reattempted. If that proved necessary, they'd use better parts -- specifically, tendons from a cadaver."

He sprained his right MCL during the 2016 playoffs, missed four games and wasn't at full strength the remainder of the postseason.

In 2016-17, he made only 51 regular-season appearances, and didn't return until Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals because of a sprained left MCL.

Yet none of that stacks up to his current predicament -- a broken left hand. The three-time NBA champion sustained the injury Oct. 30 against the Suns, and will be sidelined until February at the earliest.

In the end, he might end up missing about 75 percent of the season.

[RELATEDReport: 'No world' where Iguodala gets buyout from Grizz]

“I’ve always been (injured) mostly during the offseason," he told Thompson. "That year was the lockout year, so it was a much shorter time on the shelf.

"I’m going to lose my mind.”

This makes sense. He just wants to play.

Get well, Steph. But also -- hurry back. The NBA needs you.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram