It seems that everyone’s piling on the New York Knicks after they failed to land the No. 1 pick in Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery.
Even those who don’t mean to.
Dell and Sonya Curry — the parents of Stephen and Seth Curry — spoke with NBC Sports Northwest for a Wednesday segment about their thoughts on Stephen getting drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2009.
It’s no secret — they weren’t happy about it.
"I don't know where Golden State is..." - Sonya Curry
When asked on Draft night by then head coach Don Nelson about the @warriors drafting @StephenCurry30, Dell Curry said "Don't. You asked me the question, I'll tell you the truth. Don't."
It all worked out in the end. pic.twitter.com/p1EwGb921D
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) May 15, 2019
Dell Curry told Warriors not to draft Steph
Both gave a candid response Wednesday on how they felt about Stephen going to Golden State from Davidson 10 years ago. Dell said he told then-Warriors general manager Don Nelson not to draft him, that he wanted Stephen to go to a team he believed was a better basketball fit.
“I remember Don Nelson calling me, said ‘hey, what’s your feelings toward drafting your son?’ I said ‘don’t,’” Dell recounted. “‘You ask me the question and I’m gonna tell you the truth. Don’t.’”
Dell said Nelson told him he planned to draft Stephen anyway.
Sonya interjected, explaining that she was sad that Stephen was going so far away. Few NBA teams are farther away from Charlotte — where the Currys live — than Golden State.
“I don’t know where Golden State is,” Sonya said of her thoughts 10 years ago.
Warriors took Curry 1 pick before Knicks
Of course the Warriors did select Stephen with the No. 7 pick in that 2009 draft. He remained on the board after the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted two point guards — Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn and Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio — ahead of him.
But not being drafted earlier wasn’t the source of disappointment for the Currys. It was that he didn’t go one pick later to the New York Knicks.
Curry enjoyed playing at Madison Square Garden with Davidson and thrived in the high-pressure, brightly lit environments that playing basketball in New York presents. The Knicks wanted to draft him. He wanted to play for the Knicks.
Knicks wanted Steph, Steph wanted Knicks
When the Warriors grabbed him one pick prior to New York’s turn, Stephen couldn’t hide his frustration as he shook his head in disappointment while shaking David Stern’s hand on stage.
Dell explained to the New York Times in 2014 why the Currys wanted Stephen to end up in New York.
“The Warriors had some questionable characters on their team, the Knicks really needed a point guard, and we felt that Stephen would fit perfectly with a coach like Mike D’Antoni, playing that fast, up-and-down style,” Dell said. “He loved the idea of playing at Madison Square Garden.”
It was a decision that would impact the direction of two NBA franchises — one for the better and one for, well — whatever the Knicks have been for the last decade.
The Knicks would go on to select Jordan Hill, who played a grand total of 24 games in New York before they shipped him to the Houston Rockets in a deal that would catalyze his career as a journeyman.
Curry, meanwhile went on to win a pair of NBA MVP trophies and three championships with the Warriors. He currently has his sights set on ring No. 4 as the Warriors take on the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.
The Curry clan has surely gotten over their reticence to send Stephen to the Bay Area. Knicks fans are left to suffer the misery that’s engulfed their franchise for decades.
More draft misery in New York
That misery was hammered home on Tuesday when the New Orleans Pelicans and leapt past the Knicks to win the lottery rights to draft Duke sensation Zion Williamson. New York didn’t even manage to take home the top consolation prize that is Murray State’s Ja Morant, who will almost assuredly go to the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 2 pick.
Surely the Currys had no intent of trolling the Knicks with that interview. They were just answering questions from a local sports network covering the ongoing success of the Bay Area’s basketball team.
But troll they did.
The last thing Knicks fans want to deal with after suffering the bitter disappointment of NBA lottery balls is hearing yet again how great everything has been for the Warriors since they took Stephen one pick ahead of the Knicks back in 2009.
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