Steph Curry's rise to NBA stardom reminds Rex Chapman of Steve Nash

Grant Liffmann
·3 min read

Steph's rise from obscurity to stardom reminds Chapman of Nash originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Everyone knows the story of how Michael Jordan did not make the varsity basketball team in his sophomore year of high school.

But do you know this story about Steph Curry?

"Funny story," Rex Chapman divulged on the latest episode of the "Runnin' Plays Podcast." "I was just finished playing, Dell was just finished playing and Stephen was playing in a JV game. He was a sophomore, playing in a JV game, and he didn't get in the game until like 30 seconds to go. So that tells you the strides that he made.'

Curry has been famously undervalued his whole career before finding stardom in the NBA. Whether it was his size, his playing style, or his lack of a "true position," Curry was a big question mark for NBA front offices and coaches when draft day rolled around.

Even for a family friend and a man who had been around Curry since he was an infant, it took a while for Chapman to fully understand how good Curry really was.

"Really not until college, and even then you wondered because he was playing at a small school," Chapman said.

"He wanted to go to Duke so badly, but they didn't offer him a scholarship, Virginia Tech offered him to walk-on. We know all those stories, man. It wasn't until he went to school, and I just remember looking up at the TV one day and saw the two top scorers in the country were Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. And I went 'What!". He could always shoot it, he had big feet, big hands, you just hoped he would grow into his feet and hands and he sure did."

Curry's rise from relative obscurity to an NBA superstar is a rare occurrence, but one that Chapman has witnessed before.

"It reminds me a lot of a former teammate of mine, one of my best friends to this day, he was a rookie while I was in Phoenix, and that is Steve Nash," Chapman explained. "Everything came to Steve really late. He had one Division I offer, and that was Santa Clara. Nobody believed in him, he wasn't McDonald's All-American type of player. He wasn't highly sought after. Everything he got, he got late. And I think there is something to be said for that. You know, we all want to be a high school All-American, all that stuff. I was fortunate, and then I made the NBA, and I made an All-Star team once, that's it, but I couldn't keep going."

RELATED: Chapman recalls hilarious story from Steph's infant years

Nash, like Curry, won two NBA MVPs and widely is regarded as one of the best point guards in the history of the league. Chapman sees the similarities in their journeys and even threw in one more name into the mix.

"These guys, like Stephen, and even Klay [Thompson] to a degree, guys that stuff came to them late. I think that's a really powerful thing, because you need to learn to grow up, good through some hard stuff, before everyone starts kissing your butt."

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