Larry Bird on Stephen

To Dan Patrick: “I think he’s going to be very good.”

‘Making a mistake’

A letter to the editor from Gena Halpin of Huntersville in this morning’s Observer:

As a parent of a Davidson College grad, I was appalled and angered by Stephen Curry’s decision to leave in search of riches with the NBA.

Where were his parents in this decision?

Is the lure of riches and “a dream” so great that he could not take a year to finish his education? A Davidson education is a privilege; a Davidson diploma is the key to unlock many doors.

Finish your education, Stephen, then go out in the real world and play.

Which prompted the following in the comments section:

Why is Stephen Curry getting grief for jumping to the NBA a year early?!? If he signs a contract with an NBA team, he will, in all probability, get a multi-million dollar signing bonus and multi-million dollar contract … set for life … if he is smart about it. He can always go back to Davidson or anywhere else to get his diploma during the off-season or after his NBA career is over. Yes, he could come back for his senior year, have a career ending injury, and be like the rest of us working schmucks!!!!!

Way to go Stephen!!!!

(My take? The excessive use of exclamation points always makes me wary.)



As for players who might be available at No. 15, it’s too early to tell.The Pistons like Pittsburgh power forward DeJuan Blair and mock drafts have varied players from Davidson’s Stephen Curry to North Carolina’s Ty Lawson as possible available players.


Sonya Curry

Tonight on the phone: “The night before, I said, ‘I think he’s staying,’ and Dell said, ‘I think he’s going.’”

No thanks

Also from Andy: Davidson coach Bob McKillop said he has turned down the head coaching job of the World Championship for Young Men’s team this summer in New Zealand.

Hard to argue

Andy Katz:

Curry was the face of Davidson for three years, had a magical Elite Eight run as a sophomore, led the country in scoring as a junior and was in a win-win situation with his decision. He's a lottery pick now and would be if he decided to return for his senior season.


Tom Droney

Being a student: “That’s the thing that gets to me. I can watch the chest, but the leg looks like a shark bite.”

Another draft eval

HoopsWorld: While Curry will find it more difficult to find his shot against longer, more athletic defenders in the NBA, his knack for coming off of screens and creating separation from defenders will prove to be invaluable. Much like his father, Stephen will find a long and productive career in the NBA based on his ability to shoot the ball alone. (Here's FoxSports.com.)

On the radio

Stephen to Dan Patrick: “The highest I heard was No. 6. The lowest was 20.”


Bryant’s event

The auction items.

Kiawah Island, S.C.

Around the SoCon

Uch in Chattanooga:

Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino flipped his satellite radio from music to ESPN in time to hear Stephen Curry announce his decision.

The last song Iamarino heard was “The end of the world as we know it,” by R.E.M.

“I really don’t know if that’s some sort of omen,” he said on his way to the SoCon tennis championships.

The conference will continue without its icon.

Curry, a junior All-America guard for Davidson, announced Thursday that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2009 NBA draft. Early projections have him being selected in the first round, possibly as a lottery pick.

“My goal since I can remember has always been to play in the NBA, and that is now a viable opportunity for me,” Curry said. “After weighing my options, I came to the conclusion that it is in my best interest to take hold of that opportunity now.”

Curry has been the most visible, valuable and important player in the conference the last two years and possibly since Jerry West last played in 1960. He became one of the most popular players in the nation while leading the Wildcats to the 2008 Elite Eight and within one bucket of upsetting eventual national champion Kansas.


Will on Stephen’s decision: “Remember three years ago, when they lost 7 seniors? Everybody thought the team wasn’t gonna be good. But we came out and we surprised people. So look forward to a surprise next year.”


Jeez. Seems a little steep. And I wrote the thing.


Charlotte magazine

From last fall:

But here’s the twist: what people saw last March that sucked them in -- that innocence, that intimacy -- is now, ironically and almost inevitably, what might be at risk heading into this season.

(And here’s my latest.)

Knicks beat man

Alan Hahn: Curry’s physical stats will be among the most requested at the NBA combine in Chicago ... Also: The Knicks Blog.

It depends

One GM’s take: “He’s a great scorer and I think he can be a point guard in the NBA with time. His value all depends on who drafts him. He needs to be in the right system. If you have players who you can surround him with, he’ll be really good. If he has to be the man, he’ll struggle.”


Ending as beginning

William in my inbox:

I wonder if I may be one of many who are now ready to move on more or less happily to a new season which will be interesting if only because we know very little of what to expect of it. That seems exciting in its own way.

Their faces



Curry said Thursday at his news conference he was told he would be picked anywhere from No.7 to No. 20 in June’s NBA draft. Those guaranteed millions would make this a no-brainer for many.

But he wavered for weeks about this decision because he was so wedded to the Davidson college experience, his teammates and the idea that he should get his college degree before leaving.

Finally, the NBA won out. Davidson fans were left to bemoan their fate, having just lost the best Wildcats player any of them will see for the rest of their lifetimes one year early. I believe Davidson’s basketball program and its fans will struggle more in the 2009-10 season than Curry will.



Will Bryan:

A senior year at Davidson full of double teams and overbearing responsibility and frustrated mini huddles on the court isn’t what he wants.

What they’re saying

Gary Parrish:

I believe Stephen Curry will be a very good (and possibly great) NBA player, a lottery pick who won’t bust because, don’t let that baby face fool you, he's got decent size for a ball-handler, great vision and a high basketball IQ. Also, he can shoot. Perhaps you’ve heard. So while people will spend the next month debating whether the Davidson star will be effective at the next level, let the record show that I’m a believer in Curry, and if I could extort money from Rick Pitino, I’d take every penny and bet it on Curry being a solid pro for 10 to 12 years.

That’s what I believe.

Better yet, that’s what I know.

But I’m less sure Davidson can keep its spot in the national conversation.

Chris Littman

With the announcement that Curry will forgo his senior season, hire an agent and depart for the NBA, one of the more compelling characters in the last decade of college basketball makes his exit.

Andy Katz:

The Wildcats can finish setting their nonconference schedule. Davidson was penciled in to play at Kansas had Curry returned. McKillop said the Wildcats were slated to go to the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in December, too. But both were contingent on Curry’s return. Now they're gone.

Chris Chase:

Either way, Curry was a breath of fresh air in a college basketball world that is increasingly dominated by blue chip recruits and big-time programs. Curry’s jumpshot was as pure as Jimmy Chitwood’s. It is a thing of beauty. Here’s hoping his NBA career is the same.

Walking away

Worth the reminder

In my inbox:

I actually tried to go to the press conference, sort of on a whim. I was in the area. But I got there after it ended. So I drove around campus. Everything seemed to be functioning normally.

President Ross

What he said: “You know, he had a tough decision, and life’s about tough decisions sometimes.”

Slam and Dime


One thing isn’t debatable about Curry: He was extra nice as a college player. How he’ll transition at the next level is anyone’s guess. He could fall in the Draft due to his size and questions about his handle. But when you shoot like he does, you will have a place.

And here:

In the Garden that night, Curry could have done anything, and the packed house would have ooh’d and aah’d in delight. But no one would have been completely shocked. He could have started banking in half court hook shots as an encore and the crowd wouldn’t have thought twice about it.

So why can’t he do that on the stage wearing an NBA jersey?

To New York?

No. 8 to the Knicks in this mock draft. Also here.

Four Charlotte stations

Stephen: “During the whole process, some days I would say, ‘I think I’m going to stay.’ Then some doubts would come in and I’d say, ‘I’m going to leave.’ Then more doubts would come in and I would keep going back and forth. It took me that long to figure it out. I decided to sleep on it last night. I was at peace this morning and that’s what I was looking for.”

Fowler in Davidson

McKillop: “But it’s not a divorce. Stephen will always be a part of our program. He will always be here in spirit with us.”

Good luck Stephen

Right move

Says Dime mag.

He’s going

AP. Davidson. Charlotte. Chattanooga. Chicago. Sporting News. DavidsonNews.net. Deadspin. Bloomberg. UPI. More later.

Just an idea

In my inbox:

A good/selfish way to put it: I don’t want him to be finished in my story at Davidson. That’s not all of it, but part. And I feel like the fact that he’s taken so long is also a testament to him -- that he’s not sure if his story here is over either. Maybe he thinks it is. We’ll find out.

Maybe he has to end this story of his -- even prematurely -- in order to start his next story. We all come to that difficult point from time to time. Most of us, though, don’t do it in a way that’s nearly so public.

Owning the decision

Will Bryan:

My overriding hope from all of this is that Curry is the one who breaks this story. He has endured so much in double teams, autograph seekers and fan hecklers that he deserves to be the first one to tell us all. We don’t need a text message to someone on a message board to spoil this for him. He deserves to see utter surprise on the faces of the assembled media at 11:31 AM.

Stay or go?

McKillop: “I wish I could give you an answer, but I don’t have it.” AP. Charlotte. DavidsonNews.net.

This morning


In the beginning

From the book:

But they also talked, still, about a game the year before, at home against UNC Greensboro, when Stephen was a freshman. And they talked about one play more than any other. Davidson had a tight six-point lead with 10 minutes left in the second half. Then Stephen hit a three-pointer from the right side. Then he ran back on defense and stole a long pass. Then he dribbled down the left sideline at a full sprint for about 50 feet with a defender running next to him. Then, all of a sudden, he stopped at the three-point line, the defender’s momentum carried him past the baseline, and Stephen stepped back. Slow. Calm. And he swished another three. And the six-point lead was a 12-point lead, and it had happened in 12 seconds, and Stephen ran down the court toward the student section and smiled and stuck out his tongue and looked like a little boy.

After the game McKillop called it as magical a sequence as he had ever seen.

Those 12 seconds changed the tenor of the talk about basketball around the Davidson campus.

The crowds grew.

No one wanted to miss what the kid would do next.

Feb. 3, 2007

Why it’s hard


Davidson star Stephen Curry will announce Thursday at an 11:30 a.m. on-campus press conference whether he’s staying in school for his senior year or going pro.

Here’s the weird thing: Davidson coach Bob McKillop still doesn’t know what Curry’s decision is going to be. And neither do Curry’s parents.

“He told us he just wants to sleep on it,” Dell Curry, Stephen’s father, told me Wednesday night. “But he honestly hasn’t told us what he’s going to do yet.”

Said McKillop Wednesday night: “I don’t think Steph knows what he’s going to decide right now. His heart is feeling one way. His head is feeling another way. Somehow, he’s got to get his heart and his head feeling the same way.”

Interesting. Not that surprising, though -- not if you know the kid. He said early on in this process that he didn’t want it to drag out, and that he’d make a decision fairly quickly, but I think in retrospect he said that just hoping something somehow would show itself. This was never going to be easy. Go one way, and he lets himself down; go the other, and he lets other people down, or at least he’ll feel that way, even if it’s not true. And Stephen’s really one who wants to please those who are closest to him.

Decision time

WSOC says it’s tomorrow morning at 11:30. AP too. Here’s the QC Sports Blog.

Today’s update

Katz: Another day, another dispatch from Davidson that leaves little indication as to what Stephen Curry will do about declaring for the draft. Davidson coach Bob McKillop said Wednesday that he conducted individual workouts with the Wildcats’ guards, including Curry, who had “great bounce in his step.” The deadline to declare is Sunday.

Academic accolades

Lots of Davidson on this list. Hoops included.

Hong Kong

Pro Basketball News

Tony Mejia: The decision to stay or go is looming, but if I were Curry, I’d soak up my senior year and one more season in the national spotlight, not to mention more practice running a team with everyone’s attention on him. It’s going to make him a better player and he’ll have more fun than he would toting bags and getting donuts.

From the board

On DavidsonCats.com: Please, let’s not overlook this: Steph’s struggle is because he doesn’t want to leave.


Citi Field

More from Dell

To Mike DeCourcy: “He knows what the NBA is all about from his experience with being around me in childhood. He knows you have to be 100 percent committed because it’s a big boys’ game, and it’s good that he understands that. Who can fault a guy if he wants to go back to school and finish his degree and play another year and live another year of college life? College was the best four years of my life, and I told him that, as well. But who can fault a guy if his kid-long dream was to play in the NBA and he has the opportunity? There is no wrong decision.”



Is Stephen Curry tossing and turning his way through dozens of sleepless nights, constantly debating the decision he must make this week to either stay at Davidson for his senior season or jump to the NBA?



And from Andy ...

Dell: “We’ve left him alone for a while. I’m confident he’ll work it out. He’s in good spirits. He’s at a place he really loves. Whether he stays or goes, money and records won’t have any bearing on the decision. He knows he can’t make a wrong decision.”

He should stay

Fran Fraschilla:

First of all, Curry has the unique opportunity to build a legacy very few college players in the history of the game could ever achieve. Were he to stay, by the time his career at Davidson was over, he likely would be the NCAA’s second-leading scorer of all time, behind only the legendary “Pistol” Pete Maravich. And as inconceivable as it sounds, he could make a run at the all-time record of 3,667 points by averaging 29.5 points per game over 35 games. It’s not beyond his reach.

Curry already is a rock star and ubiquitous in college basketball circles. In fact, after a brilliant sophomore season that included an incredible NCAA tournament performance that led to Davidson’s Elite Eight run, CBS and ESPN turned him into a national celebrity, and Curry made himself a walking billboard for one of the great private liberal arts institutions in the country.

Restoring order


Davidson standout guard Stephen Curry will make a decision sometime this week as to whether to skip his senior year of college and turn pro -- but that decision has not come yet, his father Dell Curry said Monday.

Dell Curry denied a report from the website DraftExpress.com, which claimed Curry had already made his decision and would go pro. “That’s just not true,” Dell Curry told The Observer Monday. “At some point, it’s going to be true or false, but they’re just guessing. I guess they do that to draw interest to the website -- just put it out there and hope they’re right.”

Davidson coach Bob McKillop said he had a 30-minute, one-on-one meeting with Stephen Curry Thursday night and then had dinner with his star player Friday night.

“We went over all the pluses and minuses,” McKillop told me Monday. “I made it clear to him that although his decision will certainly impact our program in numerous ways, there’s no sense of urgency from our standpoint. I want him to make a decision that is well-thought out and that he’s comfortable with."

Dell on Stephen

June 11, 2008, talking for the book: “He’s a guy who cares about how his teammates feel. He thinks pass first. He’s a distributor, which is more in tune with his personality, wanting to make other people happy.”

Another report

AP: Stephen Curry is still struggling with whether to turn pro or return to Davidson for his senior season. Coach Bob McKillop said Monday that Curry hasn’t made up his mind.


A piece of the future. (Thanks Bro.)

One report

Jonathan Givony at DraftExpress:

Sources close to the situation tell us that Curry will call a press conference shortly to announce he is putting his name in the draft. From what we understand, it’s very likely he keeps it in too. Curry looks like a pretty solid bet to get drafted somewhere in the 8-15 area, with teams like the Knicks, Nets and Suns currently looking to be the most interested amongst that group. Curry very much wants to graduate from Davidson, and this decision wasn’t an easy one as you can probably tell by how long it took, but at the end of the day, the NBA was too enticing an option considering where his draft stock is at the moment, and how stacked next year’s draft is already shaping up to be.




Back to Davidson as the new assistant.

Windy City talk

From a Chicago Tribune Q&A:

I recently read an article comparing Stephen Curry to Steve Kerr, and although he is a PG, sharp shooters always make great bench players. Yes, I miss Pax, Kerr, and even Hoiberg. Curry is projected to go in the teens (as of right now). Do you think he’d be a decent pickup if available? Also, I know it’s seemingly ridiculous, but Lebron is supposedly a huge Curry fan. If we clear up the money for 2010 free agency, is a run at Lebron obligatory? -- Michael, Highland Park

I’m not sure which part made me laugh louder: That somebody misses Hoiberg or LeBron might change teams to play with Stephen Curry. At least you couched it as being seemingly ridiculous. -- K.C. Johnson


The thought process

Basketball men make basketball decisions. They don’t consider the kid. They don’t consider the school. Why would they? Hence: “I don’t know if he could do much more in college. I mean, really: How much more can he produce? How much better is he going to get playing against that competition? I guess he could fine-tune his game a little bit and play another year at the point. It’s tough to say whether he’s going to be a good pro or not. He’s a little frail, and how athletic is he? What position will he play? Who is he going to guard? There are a lot of question marks with him but, in the right situation, he could be just fine. A player is a player, and he can play.”


Matt’s new place

The Statesville paper:

There are several boxes still taped shut and stacked against the wall of his somewhat bare office.

Two enlarged photographs are framed on the wall behind his desk, which were on display before he was hired.

Even though Matheny is gone, Davidson looms behind him.

To the left of an Elon Phoenix logo is a huge action shot of Elon guard Chris Long. Long is in mid-dribble and driving past his defender to the basket.

He just happens to be guarded by Davidson superstar Stephen Curry.

If Matheny ever needs a glimpse of where he came from and what he wants Elon to become, all he has to do is look over his right shoulder.

Easter weekend


How would it work?

Here’s something that isn’t discussed enough by the people who are so interested in discussing Stephen’s decision-making process. From Andy’s blog last week:

Davidson doesn’t offer summer school, just two independent study classes, which would certainly make it a longer-term project for Curry to graduate if he left early for the NBA.

Also: Next year’s schedule will depend somewhat on whether he stays or goes.


I bet McKillop’s the same way: When a teacher has something written on the blackboard, erases it and doesn’t get it all off. I don’t know why that bothers me, but I have to have it totally clean.


It’s no way to be.

Columbia, S.C.


Still thinking

Dell: “Pause mode.” Marc Gignac: “Nothing yet.” That this clearly is a difficult decision for Stephen reinforces what I think I know about him and who he is.

Queen City SCT


It’s cool to see that the Southern Conference basketball tournament will come to Charlotte in 2010. It was originally scheduled to go to Chattanooga, Tenn., next season, but instead will come to a bigger -- and for most of the schools, a closer -- venue.

I’ve gone to the last three Southern Conference tournaments, and I can tell you that they are an underrated gem. The drama is nearly always better than the ACC tournament, where the top 5-6 teams know they’re already getting into the NCAA tournament.

Of course, the tournament would be a WHOLE lot better in 2010 if Davidson’s Stephen Curry returned for his senior year -- that would give it the headliner it would otherwise lack. I expect Curry’s “stay-or-go-to-the-NBA” decision to come soon.

Also: AP. SoCon. The biz journal. Chattanooga.


The story of the shoes.

In the Davidsonian

McKillop: “Everywhere we traveled, people were hiding behind pillars looking for autographs, greeting our bus trying to get pictures. We never had that kind of experience before. And our guys handled it with poise, they handled it with maturity, grace, humility. But it takes its toll on you.”


Where to, Train?


How he thinks

McKillop: “I believe when you look at those four teams what you see are coaches who wear their school on their heart. They’re not mercenaries. They don’t trade in their Connecticut shirt for another BCS shirt four years later. When you talk about Connecticut basketball, Jim Calhoun is in that sentence; when you talk about Carolina basketball, Roy Williams is in that sentence; when you talk about Villanova basketball, it’s Jay Wright; and of course, when you talk about Michigan State, it’s Tom Izzo. That should be a clear sign to athletic directors and presidents how continuity and consistency and commitment are such a vital part of the hiring process. And when someone puts both feet in the door, and doesn’t always have an eye on that next job or that next step up the corporate ladder, that’s when the job gets done the best.”