Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni on potentially drafting Stephen Curry: I would have screwed that up, too
The Big Apple has misfired in the NBA Draft for several years before landing Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick in 2015, but former New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni wouldn’t want a mulligan on a draft selection if he could have one. The now-Houston Rockets coach noted that even if he drafted Stephen Curry instead of Arizona’s Jordan Hill, he likely would have found a way to mess that up.
“No, I would have probably screwed that up, too,” said D’Antoni, according to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “That’s life.”
D’Antoni had massive pressure coming into his tenure with the Knicks, viewed as the potential savior of the franchise after leading the mid-2000s Phoenix Suns to a revolutionary style of offense.
At the time, Jordan Hill figured to stick in the league for much longer than Curry, who still possessed a fragile frame and came into the draft with plenty of questions about his true position on the floor and the impact he could have, despite the lineage of NBA blood being a major factor.
Hill played only 24 games with the Knicks before getting traded to the Rockets, holding averages of 7.9 points and 5.8 rebounds during an eight-year career. After playing seven games with the Timberwolves in 2016-17, Hill has been out of the league since.
Curry on the other hand, has two MVPs, three championships and currently leads the league in scoring (33 points per game) while leading the Golden State Warriors (8-1) to the best overall record in the league.
Hindsight is undefeated, but it was sadly not a gift D’Antoni possessed, even if Curry was hoping to be drafted by the Knicks. Furthermore, the longtime coach would only have part-say in personnel decisions, as ownership has also been known to meddle in the front office’s decisions.