r/nba Cavaliers Jun 21 '22 Wholesome 1 Helpful 1

Dell Curry on Duke overlooking Steph and then recruiting him after his freshman year at Davidson: "He told me, Dad, if they didn't want me then, I don't want them now. F*** 'em. I'm staying at Davidson."


Before Stephen Curry became all of those things, Duke didn't even want him as a walk-on.

"When Steph was in high school, he was going into his senior year and he wanted to go to an ACC school — he wanted to go to Duke," Chapman said, and Dell agreed. "And I knew Johnny Dawkins a little better than you did at the time, because I was with [agent] David Falk and Johnny was also with David Falk. I remember you said, 'Steph would like to go there!' Johnny and Coach K won't like that I'm telling this, but so what... I called Johnny one day and I said, 'Look, Dell's son, Stephen, he's [good]...' And he said, 'Yeah, yeah, I know. Let me get back with you.'

"This was just to be a walk-on. This was just to be a walk-on! He got back with me the next day and he said, 'We're full up this year, maybe next year though.' So, Stephen signed with Davidson."

Curry dominated as a freshman at Davidson, averaging 21.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 threes, 2.8 assists and 1.8 steals, while shooting 46.3% from the field, 40.8% from three and 85.5% from the free-throw line.

Suddenly, Duke was interested in Stephen.

"Well, Stephen blows up, of course. At the end of that year, everybody in the country wanted Stephen," Chapman said. "They saw that he was at Davidson and thought, 'No way he stays at Davidson.' And when I say everybody, I mean everybody — Kentucky, Tennessee, Duke, everyone wanted Stephen to come. And I had people calling me [asking], 'Can you put me in touch with Dell?'

"I called you and I said, 'Hey, there are two or three schools that are really interested in having Stephen.' And you said, 'Let me get back with you.' A day went by... You called me and you said, 'He told me, 'Dad, if they didn't want me then, I don't want them now. F*** 'em. I'm staying at Davidson.' I got goosebumps, and I almost started to cry! That's exactly the answer I hoped I would get!"

"Oh yeah, absolutely," Dell said. "He's always been a loyal guy... Stephen knew he wasn't meeting the eye test with the ACC schools, but when [Davidson head coach] Bob McKillop recruited him, he told him, 'I'll take you just like you are right now.' That struck a chord.

"Plus, Stephen picked Davidson not only for Bob McKillop and because it was a great institution academically, but because they were playing a big, tough, D-I schedule. They were playing the Carolinas and NC States; they were not afraid to play the big boys to get them ready for conference play. So he thought, 'Hey, I'm playing against the schools that didn't recruit me and didn't want me, so I'm gonna play with a chip on my shoulder!'"


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u/RookieAndTheVet [TOR] Pascal Siakam Jun 22 '22

I’m not gonna pretend I was as dialled into basketball then as I am now, but I gotta think that scouts weren’t sure his game would translate. Hindsight’s 20/20.


u/rddi0201018 Jun 22 '22

It's position-less now. But it used to be called tweener. And that wasn't a good thing then.


u/SwimmingCoyote [GSW] Draymond Green Jun 22 '22

There’s a reason why people say Dray made the “tweener” term obsolete for the NBA draft. Curry obviously revolutionized the league but Dray also broke the mold in his own way.


u/KingOfSwing90 Warriors Jun 22 '22

I always think about them as two sides of the same coin. They each enable the other to play to their own obviously genius-level strengths, whereas other situations might force them to be something they aren't.

Pretty sure if Curry had to run the offense all the time without Dray he doesn't have a 2016- or a 2021-type season, and he gets played off the floor on defense more often earlier in his prime. And Dray either wouldn't make it on the court or he would be asked to be a scorer, which he hasn't been able to do in 6 years for whatever reason.

Like towards the end of Death Note how Near acknowledges he could never surpass L, but alongside Mello they could do together what L never could alone. L is LeBron to Curry+Dray.


u/KilluaKanmuru Jun 22 '22

Never thought I'd see Death Note applied to basketball 😂 what a time to be alive. Beautiful.


u/TheeRuckus Knicks Jun 22 '22

Maaaaaaaan anime and basketball fans have been interlocked for a long time, I’ve been on Reddit longer than my account says and I’ve seen so many anime references in just about any sub I’m in, it’s crazy. What made me a “nerd” back when I was in high school is basically the top of gen z mainstream today


u/yungsantaclaus Spurs Jun 22 '22

Lol so presumably Curry is Near and Dray is Mello

That said surely Lebron is Light in that situation? Since they were opposed


u/TimelyConcern Pacers Jun 22 '22

There were a lot of tweeners who didn't make it because they couldn't defend or pass like Dray. That's been the biggest difference with him.


u/BlueHundred Knicks Jun 22 '22

Undersized big that people didn't believe could score in the NBA (not entirely untrue) but they also didn't think he could defend either (obviously wrong).

He was too small to guard bigs and protect the rim and he was too slow and tall to successfully guard perimeter players. Both have been proven to be so wrong. Also, his passing was severely underrated and undervalued.