It is said that it was the dad, Dell Curry, who influenced Steph to make the shift from being a shooting guard to a point guard. Having been an elite NBA shooting guard in his prime, Dell Curry knew what it takes to go beyond the ordinary in the highly-competitive NBA world. Dell would convince his son to work more on his point guard skills. And with that simple step of sliding down from shooting guard to point, the game of basketball would change dramatically, and oh-so-beautifully.
Fast forward to more than decade later to Dec 14, 2021, when Steph Curry broke the record for most number of 3’s converted in the NBA. He now has 2,974 conversions, and still counting. It is an amazing record that will most likely never be erased. Apart from this, Steph is credited for having revolutionized the game, extending the players’ shooting range into what it is now. He is literally the man who changed the game. Not only has the shooting range been extended, it continues to expand even farther as bigger, stronger and more versatile players realize that – following Steph’s lead – those limits imposed in the past are bound to be broken. Steph’s impact in contemporary basketball has caused the return to favor of the smaller, less physically-endowed players. It has forced creative innovations in offensive and defensive alignments, leading to the invention of new positions with emphasis on agility and flexibility.
Steph then has had a profound influence in the game. He has elevated it from a more simplistic ‘height-is-might’ game, into one which needs more skills and smarts. Gone are the days when the burly bigs could just bully their way to the hoop. Now, even the bigs are compelled to learn the 3-point game. And this, in turn, has captured the imagination of the international sporting world.
It was in college when Dell influenced his son to slide down to the point guard position. Dell felt that, at only 6’2” then, his son was relatively small for a shooting guard. If he wanted to be competitive in the big leagues, he would have to be more than just a 3-point threat. And so, Steph started to study – not just the moves of the then 3-point king, Reggie Miller – he now started copying the moves of Steve Nash, that exciting PG from the Phoenix Suns who took the NBA by storm, capturing the MVP twice in a row in 2005 and 2006. Who would have thought that this simple collaboration between father and son would lead to a massive transformation in the game?
Steph’s choice of stars to emulate would play a key role in the transformation. Reggie Miller’s repertoire would provide him a superior catch-and-shoot model, and teach him how to deal with the different types of screens. Incorporating further the superior handles of Steve Nash would give him more options, making him an even more lethal offensive player. Not only would he become a 3-point threat, his drive to the basket would be another option that would make for an even more complicated and more dangerous threat, aside from opening up his teammates with a possible assist. Now armed with a superior Nash-Miller combo skillset, Steph would reap success in the NBA in the years that followed. Eventually, he would continue to improve his game, incorporating James Harden’s step-back and Damian Lillard’s deep-3s, among others. This would further make him a cut above the rest.
But in order to be all that and more, we need to understand that Steph has had to put a lot of hard work in practice. There really is no secret to his success, no new formula or regimen. Steph would achieve all these through hard work and dogged determination. He may not have been as tall as both Ray Allen and Reggie Miller, both former 3-point kings, nor was he stronger. So he strove to make himself stronger and more fit. Plus, he was a better dribbler. He would practice different kinds of moves – hundreds and thousands of times – to make each independent motion an integral part of muscle memory.
Through the years, Steph would encounter different types of defenses; including double teaming or triple teaming efforts, with different levels of physicality. Opposing teams would match him with bigger and more agile 2-guards or forwards, in the hope of minimizing his mobility and vision. And he would be sidelined by injuries as well. But with the physical stamina and strength he developed for himself; plus the mental preparation, and the skills acquired through years and years of practice, he has managed to stay on top of the game. And he continues to improve his craft by keenly observing the styles of young rising stars like Luka Doncic, Ja Morant and Trae Young. A perpetual student of basketball, Steph looks for creative ways to improve his own game. All these form part of his recipe for success: a passion and perseverance to elevate the game, a healthy attitude for proper conditioning, plus an open mind to learn, not just from the old guards, but from the innovative young minds of the game as well.
2,975 3-pts made. And counting. Delivered in only 789 games and 12 seasons of action. In comparison, it took former record-holder, Ray Allen, 1,300 games and 18 seasons to score 2, 973 3-pointers. Steph’s journey to achieve this record is truly inspiring. And what’s scary about this is that Steph is still at the prime of his playing years. Given the fact that he still has about 5 years in the NBA, this record could be nothing short of unreachable.
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