Apr 3, 2013, 2:56 PM EDT
Stephen Curry is the best pure shooter in the NBA today.
We can debate the finer points of that if you want — Ray Allen still holds the crown for many — but Curry and his 45 percent from three and 44 percent shooting from 16 feet out to the arc is in the conversation. He has a sweet stroke.
But it didn’t always used to be that way.
Curry’s shot looked a lot different, more like Shawn Marion’s, until one summer is father Dell — the former NBA player — worked with him to remake it, the younger Curry told Sports Illustrated in a fascinating story by Chris Ballard (as good an NBA writer as walks the earth).
His release wasn’t quite as peculiar — Marion can look like he’s trying to play two-hand bocce with a basketball — but it originated from the same navel-high location. This was during Curry’s sophomore year in high school and, while effective, his flip shot was unsustainable: too easy to block, too methodical. Or so Dell Curry decided. Father forced son to remake his jumper during the core of his high school career, bringing the ball up over his head. It was a risky move. The result, as Steph says, was “the most frustrating summer for me.” For a period of months, the kid who’d always been a deadeye shooter was stripped of his greatest skill.
“I really couldn’t shoot outside the paint for like the first three weeks,” Curry says. “All summer when I was at camps people were like, ‘Who are you, why are you playing basketball?’ I was really that bad for a month and a half [before] I finally figured it out.”
Figure it out he did.
The lesson here is that form can lead to function and that it’s never too late to remake a shot (please take note, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist). Well, that or the lesson is it’s good to have a dad who was a former NBA player.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire piece about Curry, the Warriors and shooting from three.