Stephen Curry’s explosion onto the scene was sudden and unexpected — but not for us. Coming out of high-school, scouts knocked him for his size, lack of development, and even his ball-handling skills. He quickly proved them wrong by leading mid-major Davidson to an Elite Eight in 2008.
Although he was the 7th overall pick in the NBA draft the following season, he was still doubted because of his size. A few years later, and after battling several ankle injuries, Stephen started turning doubters into believers with his on-court magic. We predicted that Stephen’s tireless effort, unwavering ambition, and commitment to the game, would someday make him MVP, which is part of the reason he was on our cover last December.
In response, more and more people started taking notice of the young phenom. Here’s what the popular Fits & Brooks show in the Bay Area had to say about it to Stephen: “On a street level, I knew you were hot when I opened my mailbox and got my Eastbay catalog and you were on the front. Tell me how big that is to you,” Stephen responded, “To be a part of that, for the next generation to look up to athletes today, it’s pretty amazing.”
After signing with Under Armour (for a lucrative deal) and being on our cover, he went on to win the 2015 MVP, and led Golden State to its first championship in 40 years. Widely regarded as the league’s best player, he now aims for another MVP and NBA Championship. After he and his team got off to an historic start this season, Stephen is poised to repeat. He is hungry, humble, and hardworking — an Eastbay athlete.
words // Ben Schumacher
images // Andi Stempniak
video // Sam Plucker & Luke Easter
It’s a story that’s been told for centuries, that of the underdog. The story of a person that isn’t supposed to be able to do something because people think they were too small, or too slow, or too whatever. But some underdogs are able to rise up and channel an inner strength that can’t possibly be measured. The constant noise of doubters turns these underdogs into champions by forcing them to develop a level of resiliency, perseverance, and supreme self-confidence that helps them beat those who may be more physically gifted.
This is the Stephen Curry story.
“I was always the smallest kid on my team growing up and that’s kind of made me mentally strong,” says Curry. “Obviously, you hear people doubt you – people say you don’t have what it takes to do this or that. Even at this point, I’ve been able to play well, but there are people that think I might not be MVP caliber, and that’s something I want to accomplish. There’s always something next I want to go after. That’s one of them, and obviously winning a championship. I’ll do whatever it takes to get there.”
If you think he can’t do it, keep doubting him. Your doubt will continue to motivate Curry to prove to you and everyone else that he belongs in the conversation of the world’s best.
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