‘Awkward at First’: Warriors’ Steph Curry Relives the Year When Steve Kerr Came Onboard

Published 04/25/2021, 9:30 AM EDT
NBA Player Steph Curry speaks onstage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 at Pier 48 on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)


No NBA pundit saw the Warriors coming that strong in the post Mark Jackson era as they did. In the last nine seasons, only the teams including either LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, or Steph Curry have won a title. Back in 2013, nobody would’ve predicted that Curry could make it to one such list. 

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In comes coach Steve Kerr, a spiky-haired, lean, and ever-smiling personality that took the NBA by storm. His ideas of a revamp in the Warriors’ playing style became game-changing and transformed the careers of three players. One of those, and the most benefited, was Chef Curry. 

How did a young Steph Curry respond to the change in coaching staff?

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Steph Curry joined GSW in 2009 and grew phenomenally as a player after the comeback from his 2012 injury. Those were the Mark Jackson years that the baby faced assassin was enjoying as the team had begun to win more games after years of drought. 

After that nasty first-round loss to the Clippers in 2014, the franchise showed Mark the exit door. So how was a young Steph feeling about the change? In a recent interview, the star point guard talked about those times in detail.

Chef Curry expressed, “You have a new coach come in. It was kind of awkward at first because we had a certain level of success. And he’s coming in and trying to give us a blueprint of how to get over the hump, become a championship-contending team. And this is how he wants to make a couple of changes.

“He came in with such humility… he’s like ‘I just want to tweak a few things’. I feel like, based on his experience, and what he saw where our best attributes that can unlock us get to the next level.” 

The brutally honest side of the three-time champion

Warriors’ Stephen Curry against the Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 33-YO shares an almost friends-like relation with Steve Kerr, and hence he could comfortably say what he said next. Quoting Steph, “Sometimes you have coaches that kind of want to be like a hero and say, ‘I did this’, ‘I brought in these specific changes, and this is what’s gonna get us there’…

“It’s like a different entrance if you will. How he wanted to take our success and our foundation as a great defensive team and a talented offensive team. That disarmed me a little bit, to be like okay I can roll with this. It was a big change for me.”

Read also – Warriors’ Draymond Green Proclaims Stephen Curry is Unstoppable

What changed for the Warriors in the coachmanship of Steve Kerr?

Well, for one, they became title contenders from the first season itself and remained one for the next five years, until their pieces fell to injuries and trades. Coach Steve had retired in his playing career as a three-point leader, and he instilled the same offensive strategy in his Warriors. Steph and Klay Thompson took the league by storm with their camaraderie and shooting prowess. 

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Just as Steph rightly praised the 55-YO coach, “You see how he handles people… how he finds ways to make sure everybody knows their roles and get them to buy into it for the betterment of the entire team. Now on the court… he puts in a motion kind of system where he knew that is going to help us get everybody involved, create good shots, feature me and Klay as a great backcourt.”

Today, even after having a forgetful 15-win 2019-20 season, coach Steve’s report card for GSW shows him with a 68.6% w/l record. Also, even with no Klay, Kevin Durant, or James Wiseman in the team, the Warriors of 2020-21 are on their way to make it into the playoffs. 

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In all the possibilities, Steve Kerr’s experience of playing alongside the likes of Tim Duncan, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen, under legendary coaches like Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich is helping his cause. Do you think he can win another ring as a coach? Help us know in the comments.

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Sourabh Singh

1136 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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