Warriors’ Stephen Curry exceeded Don Nelson’s expectations, never thought he’d be MVP
Longtime Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson took a trip back to memory lane and shared his insights on a young Stephen Curry, admitting he never thought the guard out of Davidson would end up an MVP.
Nelson coached Curry during his rookie season before being succeeded by Keith Smart as part of the new ownership’s youth movement plan, ending Nelson’s coaching career in 2010.
“Well, you never think a guy could be MVP of the league,” said Nelson during a phone interview with Damon, Ratto & Kolsky of 95.7 The Game. “I mean, who would ever think that, but I thought he would be an All-Star point guard.
“I thought he’d be Steve Nash-like, with maybe more of an emphasis on the shooting end. Steve, it was more important for him to make assists. I always tried to get Steve to shoot more, but I never had to worry about that with Steph. If he had an open shot, he was ready to take it.”
“You never think a guy could be MVP of the league. I mean, who would ever think that but I thought he would be an All-Star point guard.”
“I thought he’d be Steve Nash-like…”
Don Nelson on how Stephen Curry exceeded expectations 💯 pic.twitter.com/giNrdl9Sxn
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) April 8, 2020
Ironically enough, being like Steve Nash wasn’t a bad comparison to draw at all, considering the dime maestro won back-to-back MVPs (2005, 2006) just like Curry did (2015, 2016).
Many have argued Curry is the representation of what Nash could have been if he amplified the use of his shooting abilities, but Curry’s quick-release and deep range have helped him tailor a much different style of offensive prowess than Nash had.
Nelson ultimately expressed joy for the Warriors’ success down the line, admitting he became a fan of them during their triumphant run:
“I’m so proud of Steph and the way they played,” said Nelson. “They played together. Just a really good bunch of guys. I really enjoyed watching those teams.”
Curry defeated expectations of many that thought his ceiling would be as a sharpshooting role player or an All-Star, taking his game way past that. Nelson can only be proud that he was wrong in his original assessment after coaching him only one year.