Stephen Curry wasn’t still what he would turn into that night time of Feb. 27, 2013. The Warriors weren’t still what they’d turn into. And tough as it may be to try to remember this, Golden State wasn’t the best crew on the floor at the Backyard garden that night time, and it wasn’t all that close.
Knicks admirers by now realized Curry, of course. He was the a person-male dynamo who approximately carried Davidson to the 2008 Last Four, and a yr later on he’d wowed the Knicks’ brass in a exercise session at the team’s Westchester County headquarters a couple months just before the draft. Mike D’Antoni had been so impressed by what he’d noticed that day that afterward, he shook Curry’s hand and laughed.
“We can’t draft you,” the Knicks coach mentioned.
“Oh?” Curry answered. “Why?”
“Because [crew government and previous Knicks sharpshooter] Allan Houston mentioned he does not want to be identified as the next-best shooter in Knicks background.”
A couple months later on, there had still been a sturdy perception that Curry would be available to the Knicks at No. 8. The Warriors also had been plainly intrigued at No. 7, but each Curry’s ex-NBA-player father, Dell, and his agent, Jeff Austin, had been wary of Steph landing there, with its deep background of dysfunction and getting rid of.
Possibly if they’d been as convincing at poker as Jellybean Bryant and Arn Tellem had been a couple yrs earlier, background could have turned out significantly in a different way. Thirteen yrs earlier, on the eve of the 1996 draft, the Nets had been lasered in on drafting superior faculty phenom Kobe Bryant with the No. 8 decide on until Bryant’s father and his agent warned John Calipari that Kobe would never ever participate in for the Nets. It was likely a bluff, but Calipari fell for it he picked Kerry Kittles as a substitute. You could know how factors worked out from there.
This time, Crew Steph didn’t resort to sturdy-arm techniques, and Knicks president Donnie Walsh selected not to look into any draft-night time promotions that could nudge the Knicks previously mentioned the Warriors — precisely with Minnesota, which owned each the No. five and No. 6 picks, just just before Golden State. So it was off to Golden State for Steph.
And concerning that night time and Feb. 28, 2013, it was tough to be way too terribly angst-ridden if you had been a Knicks supporter. Curry had revealed clear guarantee but he’d also made a pair of trick ankles he’d been minimal to just 23 games in 2011-twelve. The Knicks, in the meantime, had been in first spot in the Atlantic Division, on the way to fifty four wins and their lone playoff collection victory considering the fact that 2000. Momentum was back again at the Backyard garden.
And technically, they won that night time, way too, 109-a hundred and five — Carmelo Anthony scoring 36 factors, Tyson Chandler grabbing 28 rebounds. But it was Steph Curry who was the huge winner, who won about the Backyard garden and New York Metropolis. He scored fifty four. He shot 13 3-tips and he manufactured eleven of them, some of them from preposterous selection.
The Backyard garden was delighted for the house crew it was ecstatic for this kid, not still 25, who’d decided on MSG for his coming-out occasion.
“There was a lot of vitality in that arena for each teams,” Curry mentioned that night time. “When I began placing up some quantities, when I manufactured a few of shots, you could listen to the crowd. I was jogging off adrenaline.”
From that night time, of course, the paths of the Warriors and the Knicks diverged so considerably, and so steeply, it’s tough to think in some cases they compete in the identical league. Just twelve times later on the Warriors humiliated the Knicks at Oracle Arena, 92-63, Curry and an additional kid Warrior, Klay Thompson, combining for 49. Before long they would start out to obtain championship banners, 3 of them concerning 2015 and 2018.
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Seem, applying twenty/twenty hindsight you can definitely question why Walsh didn’t make a more robust participate in to move up in the draft, but it truly seemed at the time like a massive split that Arizona’s Jordan Hill, projected as a prime-four decide on, fell to them at 8 (notwithstanding an unremarkable 8-yr vocation that involved all of 24 games as a Knick).
The a lot more traditional hand-wringer what-if is to detect that the Raptors, at 9, picked a 6-foot-6 swingman out of USC named DeMar DeRozan, a vocation twenty.-position-for each-game scorer, four-time all-star, two-time all-NBA player. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to question just what would’ve took place if Curry had turn into a Knick in 2009. He was, right after all, by now pals with LeBron James would that have manufactured the Knicks a lot more captivating to James throughout his 2010 absolutely free company?
Would D’Antoni and Curry (and, potentially, James) have clicked? If they hadn’t, it is fully achievable that the Knicks career could have been captivating to somebody like, say, Steve Kerr, who ran toward Oakland in 2014 and away from New York. Would Walsh have stayed in New York, cutting off the Phil Jackson Follies just before they had been at any time a germ of an plan?
Curry, for his element, admitted just lately to previous NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes: “I wished to go to New York and imagined I was heading to New York. At the draft — in the environmentally friendly place — I was like, ‘Oh, get to the 8 location and New York can get me.’”
New York would not have minded that either, as it turns out.