Steve Kerr wanted Steph Curry on his team, and he got his wish. Just not how and when he envisioned it.
Kerr, who was the Suns' general manager from 2007 to 2010, recently shared the story of how he believed Curry was headed to Phoenix in a 2009 NBA draft-day trade with the Warriors.
Kerr -- who, as you know, now has won three NBA championships as the Warriors' coach -- asked Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on their "Flying Coach" podcast: "The one that got away -- is there a draft that comes to mind where you say, 'Man. There was a guy we had our eye on and something happened, and we just couldn't get it done?' "
After Carroll gave his answer, Kerr explained what happened with the Suns' failed Curry trade 11 years ago:
"We tried to trade up to get Steph Curry. We went really far down the road with the Warriors, and we thought, 'We're gonna get this done. We're gonna make a deal, and this is gonna be the guy who's gonna replace Steve Nash.'
"One of the reasons we loved Steph was we had this great fortune to watch Steve Nash win two MVPs, become this dominant player and this incredible leader. Hero in Phoenix -- the guy whose jersey everybody wore; all the kids wore all over town.
"It wasn't obvious watching Steph in college that he was gonna be a star. He had to grow, he had to get better. But you could see the skill level. We actually thought we had a deal done that night, and it just fell through. The Warriors ended up taking Steph and keeping him.
"And I'm really glad, Pete. Glad that happened [laughter)] I probably wouldn't be doing a coaching podcast with you right now if that trade had gone through [laughing)] Thank God for Steph."
This isn't breaking news, as Kerr previously has discussed it. Here's what he said about it in March 2013, in an article from ArizonaSports.com:
Back on draft night 2009, when the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Syracuse point guard Johnny Flynn at No. 6, an audible cheer could be heard coming from the Suns’ war room at the US Airways Center.
"The deal was contingent, on our end, on Curry being there,” former Suns GM Steve Kerr told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “And when he was still there, we were under the impression that we had a deal and unfortunately in the NBA, and I’m sure in every sport, nothing’s done until the trade call is made."
It's possible, though, that this is the first time you're hearing about this. If that's the case ...
... pretty wild, right?
But not as wild as the Minnesota Timberwolves drafting Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, which made Steph available for the Warriors at No. 7. The rest, of course, is NBA history, and good news for Kerr when he took over as Warriors coach in 2014.
The Suns, meanwhile, had to stand pat at No. 14, where they drafted Louisville's Earl Clark, who played just 60 games for Phoenix and 261 games in the NBA.