Steve Kerr Knew Stephen Curry Would Be Great


Photo Credit: The Score

First off, let’s all embrace the Robert Covington era!

Okay, perhaps a stretch there, but the rookie D-League call-up has put up 38 points and 10 rebounds in the past two games. He’s playing now, and the starved Philadelphia 76ers, shorthanded even without the liked of Joel Embiid, Alexey Shved and Tony Wroten are reaping the benfits. Perhaps they read my first Sports Rants NBA piece. Perhaps not (they didn’t).

In a Disney movie that would have been the minutes long animated short before the feature presentation. Now, onto the…you get it.

Stephen Curry and I have a history. It dates back to farther than 2012 where we actually met. Where he signed autographs for the early crowd at a Dallas Mavericks game, pausing at my game program (because I don’t have memorabilia sue me) looking me in the eye and moving on to the next piece of anything he was signing.

I had never met the Golden State Warriors point guard. But my friend Canaan asked me anyway, because it was that strange.

If you’ve seen his NBA 2K15 commercial, his You want an autograph or something phrase takes on meaning that hurts mi corazon.

50 second Mark. 

If Steph Curry had the power to look into my eyes and see my Stephen Curry-related past he would have seen that I was one of his biggest fans, even before his sudden leap from potential-packed shooter to absolute stud.

To be brief, I’m really big into sports video games, particularly franchise mode. One of my greatest creations was my NBA 2K10 Golden State Warriors team.

Steph+Monta=I couldn’t get past the second round but had tons and tons of fun with that team.

So I don’t know–and probably never will never know–why the now mostly unattainable autograph of Stephen Curry looked me straight in the face and said “go the ****, kid.”

A favorite became an enemy that day. But that’s not what this is about.

Stephen Curry was the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Hilariously selected before him were two point guards, Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn because David Kahn was running the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Photo Credit: The Big Lead

The Phoenix Suns and General Manager Steve Kerr had the 14th pick in the draft, as middle of the pack as it gets in the NBA save picks 15 and 16. They selected Earl Clark and that, like most of this to most of you reading, is totally irrelevant.

The Suns perpetual run as NBA title contenders was crumbling. Mike D’Antoni left to coach the New York Knicks, leaving the beloved SSOL (seven second or less) system in the hands of Terry Porter. Superstar big man Amar’e Stoudemire suffered an awful eye injury in October, made it all the way to February before re-injuring that same eye, and Alvin Gentry replaced a fired Terry Porter somewhere in between.

After the season, Phoenix, who had finished 9th in the Western Conference, hence obtaining the final lottery pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

General Manager Steve Kerr, entering the final season of his contract, saw what not many saw then but what we’re all seeing today in Davidson sharpshooter and NCAA Tournament sweetheart Stephen Curry.

Without a chance to draft what Kerr deemed a superstar-to-be, their best and only option was to trade for him, and so they dangled injured star Amar’e Stoudemire to the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, Amar’e’s eyes were accompanied by even more troubling and long-term concerns, his bad knees.

This made any potential Stoudemire-Curry deal –even if completed– a stretch due to the always important physical needed to complete any transaction. Here’s a telling quote from Kerr back in 2009.

“I think we felt like from our side that if Steph dropped to 7 where (Golden State was) picking that we were going to get a deal done. That’s what it felt like.”

Unfortunately for Phoenix and super duper fortunately for Golden State, the Warriors decided to roll the dice on a young future rather than building around the question marked Amar’e Stoudemire for now.

Boy, did they get that one right.

Photo Credit: Reddit

So when Steve Kerr again left the TNT broadcasting booth in the Summer of 2014 to interview for Head Coaching gigs in Golden State and New York with the Knicks, it was widely rumored that he would end up on the east coast and not the west. Because new Knicks President Phil Jackson coached Steve Kerr in Chicago where the pair –alongside some schmucks named Jordan, Pippen and such–won four straight NBA titles from 1996-1999.

This hidden story of Steve Kerr wanting Stephen Curry so badly in Phoenix on draft night in 2009 beat out the reunion with the “Zen Master” and Steve Kerr became the new Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Oh, also potentially a factor: Warriors rock, Knicks suck.

The Golden State Warriors have won 11 straight games and are a league best 16-2 heading into Chicago tonight to face the Bulls, Memphis, Portland and Houston are all 15-4, 1.5 GB of the Warriors. My point is not that the Western Conference is excruciatingly difficult, but that the Warriors have a 1.5 game lead on anyone through the early portions of the NBA season.

It all worked out in the end for Golden State and Steven Kerry, as I like to dub (get it?) the pair. But seriously MVP candidate, what did I do to you? 🙁