Why Mo Buckets believes Steph deserves all the praise he gets

Why Mo Buckets believes Steph deserves all the praise he gets originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Marreese Speights became a beloved Bay Area cult hero affectionately known as "Mo Buckets" in the early stages of the Warriors' dynasty. The big man served as a key figure in Golden State during Steph Curry's rise to superstardom, spending three seasons as teammates from 2013 to 2016.

During an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole on "Dubs Talk," Speights offered a unique perspective of the work Curry does behind the scenes and why the two-time NBA MVP is deserving of all the praise and accolades he has received during his storied career.

"The thing about Steph that I always tell people is I respect him so much because we're the same age, so we'd always passed each other in AAU ... so we'd play in the same tournaments," Speights explained to Poole. "Me being on his team, me seeing how he worked every day, how he carried himself, how he handled his business when he got all this different stuff going on when it comes to interviews at 4 a.m., commercials at 3 a.m. or 5 a.m. and still coming to practice and being there early handling his business and putting the hours in.

"That makes me respect him more as a person than as a basketball player or anything else. All the stuff he gets ... all the accolades he's getting, he deserves it because he put the work in. He sacrificed so much. That's why I appreciate him and always like watching him."

Curry's individual accolades include two NBA MVP awards, two scoring titles, nine All-NBA selections, 10 All-Star nods, one All-Rookie selection, one All-Star MVP and one Finals MVP. The superstar point guard also has four NBA titles to his name, the first of which he won with Speights as his teammate during the 2014-15 season.

Poole then asked Speights how he would describe Steph's work ethic, with the NBA veteran lauding the superstar point guard's ability to adjust to his body's needs as his 15-year NBA career has progressed.

"Top notch," Speights told Poole. "That guy works hard, man. "This age right here, 36. To still be 36 years old, still putting the work in, still looking young and his body still is getting bigger, filled out more making sure he's getting stronger [so] he can take those hits. That's the stuff that I really appreciate and I know he's putting the work in. He's a great player so he's got to put the work in because guys are going at him still."

Speights appeared in 227 regular-season games and made 41 playoff appearances for the Warriors, providing an electric spark off the bench that endeared him into the hearts of Bay Area basketball fans. The 12-year NBA veteran also was a pivotal piece of Golden State's historic 73-win season in 2016.

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