Frustration levels surrounding the Golden State Warriors in their home region have never been higher. Just check out what people are saying about Stephen Curry. Chris Cohan (the fake one, not the real one) refers to Curry as “GQ” and constantly points to statistical evidence which paints Curry in a bad light compared to the rest of the league’s rookie point guards. His contention is that Curry isn’t even a point guard at all, and GoldenStateWorriers believes that Don Nelson feels this way too — that Monta Ellis is actually the Warriors’ point guard and has been for a long time.
Even Shaq feels like smacking Curry (or at least gashing him with his talon-like fingernails).
The skepticism is palpable, and even understandable. Star athletes are supposed to be confident and attractive, but let’s face it, Curry is what the kids call “pretty.” His features are delicate, dainty even. Doesn’t mean the kid isn’t tough — forget rookies, he’s on a torrid pace for all NBA guards when it comes to hacking opponents. Curry’s slapping more wrists than a Catholic school teacher in the 1960’s. However, he’s got soft facial features and he’s the son of a very good player most of us still remember, so it’s easy to look at him as one of those preppy kids with rich parents who never had to do a minute of manual labor in his life.
Add that to his less-than-enthusiastic reaction to getting drafted by the Warriors ahead of the Knicks, Monta’s even-less-enthusiastic initial reaction to sharing a backcourt with him and a pretty high turnover rate, and Warrior dieimpossibles (because even “diehards” would have given up on the Warriors by now) seem to wish their team would have drafted Jrue Holliday, Ty Lawson or pretty much any other dude who doesn’t look like he’s afraid of getting a tattoo on his perfect skin.
We could blame this on Don Nelson for playing Curry 40 mpg and showcasing Curry’s flaws for all to see, but that’s too easy. You can’t bitch about Nellie freezing out Ant Randolph and then turn around and whine about Nellie entrusting a big portion of the scoring and playmaking responsibilities to Curry — especially since the other alternative is starting Cartier “Poor Man’s Buike” Martin.
This is essentially a knowledgeable and extremely vocal minority, reacting to the most ineffectual ownership group in the Bay Area. The Warriors are a joke of a franchise, and the only people unwilling to admit that draw a paycheck from the franchise. Anything they do at this point will be scrutinized harshly, as it should. Honestly, the lack of harsh scrutiny from media and fans alike from 1995 until now has a lot to do with the mess the Warriors are in, even though the real Chris Cohan deserves 90% of the blame.
Forget PER and AST/TO for a second. Curry was a successful pick simply because he is a dynamic, confident player who isn’t afraid of stardom. While some feel like he’s a tweener with a silver spoon in his mouth, compared to most rookies he’s actually been pretty incredible. He’s only gotten better as the season has gone on (compare that to Brandon Jennings, who at this rate will be shooting 17% from the field at the end of the season). He’s playing 32 mpg, third amongst all rookies behind Tyreke Evans and Jennings. And Curry’s errors are always ones of commission rather than omission — many of his errant passes will become more accurate, and he’s only going to be a better shooter; the fact that he has no fear of turning the ball over or missing jumpers is a GOOD THING, especially on a team that blows dik-diks. He rebounds better than anyone would have expected. Besides his reaction on Draft Day (which was pretty understandable, seeing as Curry would have received a standing ovation at MSG had the Warriors let him slide to the Knicks) he hasn’t said or done anything stupid.
In fact, maybe this whole thing IS Nellie’s fault. Nelson likes Curry, and nobody besides Ralph Barbieri likes Nelson these days. Maybe if Nellie would bench Curry and rake him over the coals in a couple press conferences, Curry would get some street cred. It’s either that or Curry needs a few tattoos.