The Warriors have Steph Curry back, which makes them pretty invulnerable, even with Draymond Green still recuperating from a toe injury. On Monday night, Steph worked together with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to score 85 points among the trio in a 128-111 win in Atlanta against an overmatched Hawks squad and rookie point guard Trae Young.
After the game, Steph was asked about Young, who gets frequently compared to the three-time champion out of the Bay. Despite his fame, Curry is pretty patient even with the most insipid questions, but his annoyance was explicit when he called the comparisons “old.”
Curry’s response to correlating Young’s game with his after the game doubles as advice you’d tell a kid about emulating their heroes on the court: Be yourself because there’s only one you.
“Again, he’s his own player,” Steph said. “Like when I was a rookie, Steve Nash’s name was thrown out there a lot. You take that with respect and understand it’s flattering. But at the end of the day it’s not gonna carry you through this league; It’s what you do with the opportunity you have in front of you. I’ve been blessed to have a lot of success and experience in the league. Obviously you expect Trae to kind of carve out his own lane, and again be himself. He doesn’t have to be anybody else but himself.”
The Nash example parallels the Young-Curry divide, especially when you remember the former Suns star also won a pair of MVPs. Then, as it is now, it was unfair to place that burden on a young player, whether he’s a sharpshooter out of tiny Davidson or Oklahoma (where Young played a single season of college ball).
The gist of Curry’s slightly irritated answer is to be yourself and ignore the inevitable comparisons people in the media make. Those writers and reporters aren’t original enough to talk about your game without bringing up someone else. Yes, they both pull up from 30 feet, but that’s where the similarities end. Steph is a two-time MVP and Young is a rookie.