Steph Curry has embraced his role as a teacher for young Warriors players like rookie Nico Mannion this season.
Early in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 111-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Curry found another teaching moment when Mannion launched an ill-advised shot.
With the score tied at 82-82, Mannion stared down Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones after the Warriors recovered a deflection, but he chucked up a 22-footer from just inside the 3-point line with seven seconds left on the shot clock that clanked off the rim.
Mannion actually approached Curry for advice at the next timeout.
“I brought it up first,” Mannion told reporters in his postgame video conference. “I told him it was a bad one for me, bad shot on my end. Late [in the shot] clock, get behind the 3-point line and shoot a 3 or make a play.
“That’s really what we were talking about, but he’s been great, encouraging me and telling me to play my game. Just telling me to be aggressive.”
Mannion acquitted himself on the Warriors’ next possession, by smartly passing up a fast-break 3-pointer before driving to the lane for a scoop layup. He finished with nine points in 13 minutes after having a chat with the Warriors’ coaching staff, who told him he was too hesitant in Friday’s game when he went 0-for-4 in 14 minutes.
“I think the biggest teacher is experience, especially in this league,” Mannion said. “With the more minutes, the more experience I get, the more comfortable I’m getting. I’m learning how to pick my spots. I’m just learning how to play my game within the offense. Still playing free but playing under control.”
Mannion likes to play fast, but his breakneck pace from the college level is still taking time to translate to an NBA floor. Having a Hall of Fame teammate who can offer advice can only help. Curry has been seen coaching Mannion up all season long.
“When Steph is saying it, it makes me feel good, it makes me feel comfortable," Mannion said.