The Golden State Warriors drafted Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. An undersized point-guard from the small college of Davidson University, Curry came in with the reputation of being a baby-faced assassin and marksman from beyond the three-point line.
Over the next decade, Curry would contribute to four NBA titles while taking the Warriors to the NBA Finals six times in eight years. He’s also amassed two-league MVP’s, is a perennial All-Star and All-NBA selection, and delivered his crowning moment with a Finals MVP earlier this year.
As Stephen Curry’s game has evolved with the Golden State Warriors, so to has the bizarre schemes to stop his production on the court.
The schemes Curry faces night after night are as bizarre as their descriptions — box and one, double teams, triple teams, and worse. And when he comes off a screen or drives to the rim, his body regularly takes a pounding as opposition teams attempt to combat his incredibly efficient scoring.
Curry’s counter to this defensive insanity he faces on a nightly basis — countless hours in the weight room and a relentless work ethic, improving his shooting range from half-court and beyond.
On Tuesday night, in Golden State’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Curry was assessed a technical foul for a display of frustration directed towards a referee. As is so often the case, Curry and the Warriors were left disappointed by an egregious non-call that would have sent him to the free-throw line — suffering a blow to the head on a made three-point attempt, Curry was knocked to the floor and yet nothing was called.
With an unrepeatable narrative, Curry removed his mouthpiece and made the official aware he wasn’t pleased. The curious aspect of this sequence was the player who delivered the blow to Curry’s head asked him if he was “all right.”
The front office and Steve Kerr’s coaching staff have complained vigorously over the years about the biased officiating directed at Curry. Adam Silver and the NBA front office have levied heavy fines to the Warriors in support of their referees and the lack of objectivity and obvious bias against what many now consider as a top five player of all-time.
Fans of the game and Curry’s teammates have seen enough. During the David West and Andrew Bogut era, the Warriors took the inequitable treatment of Curry and corrected the problem themselves. Setting career-ending screens and using physicality, the message was sent — “you try to hurt our guy, and you will pay a price you can not afford.”
West and Bogut’s remedy has been passed down to Kevon Looney and Draymond Green, and it should be passed further down to the youthful but physically strong bodies of Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman. Once Curry returns from a shoulder injury he sustained against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, it’s time to send another message to the league that this can’t be tolerated.