Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championships last week. Here’s why Steph never should have earned such an award.
Growing up, everyone told him that he was too small.
As a high school sophomore, Stephen was 5'6 and 125 pounds. He lacked strength, size, and toughness.
When Stephen was young, he would have to shoot from his waist because he wasn’t strong enough to shoot it over his head.
When it came to recruiting, no college even wanted Steph. He wasn’t even rated as a high school recruit… that’s how much no one recognized him. Even Virignia Tech, his father’s alma mater, didn’t really want him. They considered Curry but said he would have to walk on… which is like a slap in the face to any athlete’s dream.
Throughout his whole life, he was an underdog.
Davidson, a small liberal arts school in his local town, gave Curry a chance to play on their team. The coach, Bob McKilop ,believed in Curry. All the other coaches saw Curry’s weaknesses but Coach McKilop saw brilliance.
During their first game, down 18, Davidson put Curry in the starting lineup to start the second half. In the 2nd game, he dropped 32 points to win the game.
He’s grown to 6'3 by his sophomore year. His games continued to be on FIRE. He dropped 40 against Gonzaga, and 2 days later, he dropped 30 on Georgetown. Two of the top ranked schools in the nation.
Curry continued to prove everyone wrong. He averaged 32 points on Davidson’s magical journey to the Elite 8. Before Curry, Davidson was not recognized at all as a competitive threat, let alone to make the Elite 8.
In Curry’s junior year, he led the nation in scoring. Averaging 32 points a game, Stephen declared for the 2009 NBA Draft.
Even after he proved himself… Even after leading the nation in scoring, pushing Davidson to miraculous wins, and putting on outstanding performances… Curry was again, an underdog.
He heard the same things that haunted him after high school. “He’s too small for the NBA.” “He’s not strong enough and can’t handle the bigger dogs”
Despite being the underdog yet again, Stephen Curry had an insane work ethic. One trainer by the name of Alan Stein distinctively remembers Curry and said,
“Several years ago I had the honor of working the first ever Kobe Bryant Nike Skills Academy. Nike invited the top 20 high school shooting guards and the top 10 college shooting guards in the country to this camp with Kobe, and it’s kinda funny now that I look back on it, how many of those players are now household names in the NBA.
“However, at that time, the least recognised player there was Stephen Curry, but I knew immediately that he was the most impressive and that thinking long term, he was going to be a future NBA superstar, and here’s how I knew that: it was all because of his work habits.
Now those skills academies, we’d have two workouts a days for three straight days. Thirty minutes before every single workout, most players were still in their flip flops and would have on their headphones and Stephen Curry had already started doing some form shooting. He’d already started taking game shots from game spots in game situations. By the time the workout officially started he’d probably already made 100–150 shots, almost in a full sweat.
When the workout actually started he was meticulous with everything that he did. He made sure that he had perfect footwork, he made sure he had perfect shooting form. If he did anything and it wasn’t perfect, he did it over again, and he didn’t need a coach to tell him, he just did it.
And then probably the most impressive thing that he did, was as soon as every workout was over, he would not leave the court until he swished five free throws in a row. You know how hard that is? But that’s the level of excellence he holds himself to.
The moral of that story, is that success is not an accident, success is actually a choice. Stephen Curry is one of the best shooters on the planet today because he has made the choice to create great habits.”
Throughout Stephen Curry’s entire life, he had voices everywhere tell him that he couldn’t do something. That he would never achieve his dream. That he would never make it in the NBA. That he would get crushed playing with the big boys.
No one 10 years ago would ever expect Stephen Curry to be the crowned the Most Valuable Player and win an NBA Championship.
During his MVP speech, he left the audience with this remark:
“Make sure you live in the moment, and work your butt off every single day. And I hope I inspire all around the world to be themselves, be humble, and be grateful for all the blessings in your life.”
How could you hate this man? Selfless, humble, hard working, determined, and a family man. Having the physical and mental toughness to rise above everyone and succeed.
Whether you’re a basketball fan or not, everyone should take notes on Stephen Curry’s road to greatness. He never should have won an NBA Championship but he DID. In great fashion and with awesome company.
Congrats to the Golden State Warriors. You all truly deserved it.
Tam Pham's Blog
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