Curry coming off bench in playoffs draws Duncan comparisons originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Steph Curry missed the final 12 games of the Warriors‘ regular-season schedule due to a foot injury he suffered in Boston, putting his status for the early portion of the playoffs in doubt.
It was in question even on the morning of April 16, when the Warriors would open their playoff run against the Denver Nuggets.
Curry did suit up that night but in a surprising move, he did so off the bench and gave up his starting spot to Jordan Poole.
“I gave him a choice because he had a 20-minute restriction the first game,” Steve Kerr told Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner on Friday’s episode of the Point Forward podcast. “I told him this is how the minutes would play out for you if you started verses if you came off the bench. Typical Steph, he said, ‘No, it sounds way better to come off the bench. That way I don’t have to sit too long between my minutes.’
“It never even entered the equation that this would be a blow to his ego or anything.”
Curry’s unselfishness sent a clear message to the rest of the Warriors.
“You know how Draymond [Green] says it’s a pecking order, right? And it all starts with [Steph],” teammate Andre Iguodala said of the Warriors’ locker room. “And it was a little bit of a message saying, ‘Alright fellas, I’m coming off the bench. I’m just letting ya’ll know, this is what we need to do to win. If you got to come off the bench, you got to come off the bench.’ I just loved him for that.
“Steph gets it. And that’s one thing people don’t recognize about him. He’s really for the team.”
Iguodala has played alongside Hall of Fame talent throughout his 18 seasons in the NBA. When summarizing just how significant Curry’s gesture was to Golden State, it reminded him of Tim Duncan’s response to one of the most infamous press conference comments of all time.
“Remember Allen Iverson was like, ‘I’m a starter, and I’m not coming off the bench.’ … What did [San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg] Popovich do the next time the Spurs played after Allen Iverson made those comments? He brought Tim Duncan off the bench. No one remembers that.”
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Duncan, like Curry, had no gripes with the situation. It’s no surprise that both players are considered two of the best teammates among superstars in NBA history.
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