Eddy Curry came close to signing in Venezuela

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June 30, 2015 | 10:08 am EDT Update
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When Nick was three weeks old, Steve was already packing up the condo, traded to Orlando. That was 22 years ago. Today, Nick is a graduate of the University of San Diego, starting on a master’s in public health at Cal this fall. Time disappears like rings of smoke in summer air. “When are you going back to San Diego?” Fraser asked Kerr. “Saturday?” “Maybe Friday,” Kerr replied. “Right after the parade.” “Friday? What about the exit interviews?” Kerr glanced at Steph. “What did you think of the year?” “I thought it was incredible,” the point guard said. “I thought it was incredible too. But you could really be a better shooter. I think you need to work on your shot this summer. Great year. Give me a hug.”
He keeps an “image card” on the inside wall of his locker, which he received in the rookie transition program in 2009, instructing him to use “strong positive body language,” “good eye contact” and “inflection in your voice.” But he can’t manufacture inner peace, the unmistakable serenity that allows him to focus amid frenzy, and hurl flames at giants. ​”For me, that comes from faith and family,” Curry says. “It’s who I am. It gives me balance. This is a high-pressure job. You gotta win. You gotta win. You gotta win. If you can turn it off for a while and make life normal, you can balance yourself out before you have to do it all over again.” His parents stayed at his house during the Finals, an arrangement that would rattle some players, but relaxed Curry. Dell, a shooting guard for 16 seasons who never advanced beyond the second round, drove with Steph to Game 1 at Oracle Arena. “I wish I could tell you what this is like,” Dell said, and they laughed. After games Steph played spades with Sonya until his mind mellowed and sleep beckoned.
He has rushed headlong to the top. The Warriors daydream about what he can accomplish if he learns to change speeds and exploit angles, as Steve Nash once did. The specter of the two-time MVP has hovered over Curry since the moment he entered the league. “I drafted him partly because he reminded me of Steve,” says Don Nelson, who coached Nash in Dallas and Curry in Golden State. “They are very similar.” Curry was more aggressive than Nash; Nash more probing than Curry. Four years after Nelson retired to Maui, Golden State coincidentally started hiring people who used to work with Nash in Phoenix: Kerr, Fraser, guard Leandro Barbosa and assistant coach Jarron Collins.
So when Mason Plumlee was given the chance to showcase his leaping ability on the NBA’s grandest stage — the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend in February — he seemed to be a dark horse contender. Only things didn’t go as planned. “I didn’t do so well,” he said Monday, laughing, of an event in which he couldn’t escape the first round. “No more dunk contests for me.”
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