Stephen Curry: "I knew I could be a great player"
Stephen Curry is coming off a great collegiate career that ended with him leading the NCAA in scoring at 28.6 points per game. Now he is trying to prove to NBA scouts he is ready for the next level.
What did you gain by going back to Davidson last year?
Stephen Curry: I gained a lot of exposure at the point guard position. I ran the team for an entire season. I saw a lot of defenses with a lot different strategies and schemes to try and slow me down. Professionally, the expectations that we had at Davidson the last year really challenged us. We didn’t do as well as we thought we would do, but we went out there as a team and it made me a better player. I gained a lot out of last year.
Was it a tough decision to declare for the NBA draft?
SC: Yeah, it was very tough. I thought about it today as I saw my last days as a college student and that’s what made the decision so tough. But I want to take this opportunity as run with it.
What is your true position?
SC: I’m a point guard that can play the 2, if I need to. I can spread the defense that way. I feel that I can handle the pressure of being the point and be able to execute the plays.
Will you be disappointed at this point if you fell past New York at 8?
SC: No, this is a business. They can tell you they will take and then somebody makes a decision not to. They can do that.
Have you been given a promise?
SC: I haven’t heard anything from them. It’s all hearsay from my experience. Guys talk to the GM and everybody says that he is their player and someone will say if he is there we will take him, but some guys take that as a guarantee. But when you get in the heat of things, in the green room, things can change and guys can fall. You never know what can happen.
Going from Davidson, do you think the pressure of playing in New York could be a problem?
SC: Nah, I don’t think so. With all the media exposure we had this year and all the eyes watching us … We sold out every arena we went to. Granted it’s not Madison Square Garden or a NBA arena, but I don’t think the pressure will get to me. It will be a new exciting experience for me living in a big city and just being in the NBA will be fun for me, no matter where I go.
You say there will always be doubters; can you change any of their opinions before the NBA draft in these workouts?
SC: Umm, a lot of what the scouts think is based on what you did in college. They have watched countless tapes on you. Pretty much every minute you have been on the court, they have seen that. They know what you can and cannot do. I mean, you are going to get a better in the offseason, but most of their evaluation is on what you did in college. You don’t want to go down; you just want to show you got better. But you just keep going. I shot the ball really well in the (NBA Pre-draft Camp) workouts; they knew I could do that. There’s no defense out there, but if you can do it out there, it makes you stand apart from those who can’t.
Who do you feel are the top players in this draft?
SC: Me. (Laughs) You have to go with Hasheem Thabeet. Some guy named Blake (Griffin). I really like James Harden. With his size and the way he handles the ball and can shoot it. It’s pretty even after that.
Growing up, I’m sure there were always people dismissing you as just the son of a former NBA player (Dell Curry). Was there a moment when you realized you were your own player, with your own skill set and that you belonged in the NBA? Or did it gradually come?
SC: It gradually came. In high school, fans would chant ‘you’re not better than your father’ or stuff like that and try to get in your head. Actually, I knew early on I was a different player than my father and I had point guard skills. He was a great shooter, but I do some extra stuff. I was pretty confident in my game early and I knew I could be a great player. I just went with it.
Who would win in a game of horse: you or your father?
SC: It’s 50-50 right now.
Joseph Woelfel is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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