There’s a must-read story in today’s New York Times about Stephen Curry‘s less-than-ideal start to his NBA career.
It’s not so much that Steph is struggling on the court – he’s doing pretty well and working through the same things the same things all rookies struggle with in their first year. It’s life off the court, life with his teammates, and life existing in the massive debacle that is the Golden State Warriors that has proven to be the most difficult to deal with.
Some “highlights” of the article:
On the tough relationship he has with Monta Ellis
In their season opener against Houston, the Warriors (2-4) were trailing by 3 points in the final seconds when Curry grabbed the rebound of a teammate’s missed 3. Ellis was open on the wing, and clamoring for the ball, but Curry was not sure he had time to make the pass.
After a moment’s hesitation, Curry made a layup to make the Warriors’ margin of defeat a point, and walked off the court with Ellis glaring at him. During a recent show on KNBR-AM, the Warriors’ flagship radio station, callers said that Ellis, when he brings the ball upcourt, seldom passes to Curry.
The loneliness of NBA life with a dysfunctional franchise
The days can stretch interminably without the routine of college to fill the hours away from the basketball court.
“You get bored a little bit, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar setting,” Curry said, adding, “For me, not knowing where to go and what things to do kind of caught me off guard at first.”
With nowhere else to go, he lingered in the weight room after practices and did extra lifting.
“Just trying to find something to keep myself occupied so I don’t go crazy sitting in my apartment all day,” he said.
At 6 feet 3 inches and 185 pounds, Curry needs to bulk up, but not that way. The coaching staff placed him on a strict lifting schedule after his arms became so fatigued that it adversely affected his shot.
Navigating his new life has become easier in some respects. One of Curry’s friends from home, Chris Strachan, moved in with him “so I don’t have to go home to an empty apartment,” he said. He bought a GPS unit for his Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle and has used it to find his bearings on the Bay Area’s web of freeways.
Steph is a genuinely good guy and should be a very good player in the League for a very long time, but you have to wonder what type of effect this toxic environment will have on him long-term. Luckily, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders – hopefully he can survive until the Warriors eventually fix themselves.
Check out the NY Times article HERE.