Today, Stephen Curry Is Widely recognized as the greatest shooter ever and one of the game's All-Time great players. But back in the early years of Steph's career, before the world knew who he was, he had to prove himself to the doubters -- which apparently included his former coach Keith Smart.
From 2010-11, while Smart was coaching the Dubs, Curry saw a dip in his minutes, which went from 36.2 per game for his rookie season to 33.6 per game. He also had no issues benching Steph during close out moments.
In a chat with Stewart Hodge, Jeremy Lin (who played with Steph for one season during the 2010-11 campaign) explained the dynamic between Curry and Smart and why there was so little faith placed in Curry's abilities at the time.
"I was with him my rookie year. The coach that we had didn't believe that much in Steph and would bench him a lot, get on him, yell at him a lot, was just really tough on him," Lin, who is now Global Ambassador for education technology company LingoAce, told Sky Sports. "It almost became normal that every fourth quarter, he would get benched for a certain stretch. I felt that would shake any player to some degree and even though his confidence would kind of waver a little bit – because of the way that he was being coached – he had a deep, deep, very strong belief that he was a great player and that he would become a great player, and that the way things were going at that time was not how they were always going to go."
It's no wonder why Keith only lasted a single season as Warriors coach. While Steph was far from the player he is today, he was still really good and definitely needed to be on the floor as much as possible.
It took a few years for Curry to have his breakout season, especially since he only played 26 games in his third year.
But he did eventually reveal just how good he was, and Keith Smart's tough coaching strategy may have helped bring out the best in his game.