By: Jace Lipstein
August 15, 2014
Grungy Gentleman caught up with Stephen Curry yesterday at the Nike & Team USA Basketball practice at the WBF in Chicago.
As a Golden State Warrior point guard and leader on the 2014 USA Men’s National basketball team, Curry has high hopes for this spring.
Here's what he has to say:
What can you take away from playing on USA basketball?
Having a different role on this team and doing different things—it develops your entire game and your focus on what you do on the court. It also helps with leadership because you have to take on different roles and going through that experience makes you more appreciative for sure. We all have to sacrifice a little bit and do a little bit something different. There is so much talent here, which makes us more well-rounded for play.
Andre Drummond said you are helping him a lot in practice so far. Are you able to be a mentor to a lot of these young players?
The fact that you just said the younger players, I feel old, man. I’m a young player too. We all can learn from each other no matter the age because everybody has a certain skillset and a certain strength that has gotten them to this point. It might be different than what I put to the table, so as long as you are open and aware of what’s going on, you get a lot out of this experience.
Do you have any hesitation about playing given Paul George's injury and seeing DeMarcus Cousins's injury in practice today? Is it even possible to play basketball with caution in the back of your mind?
Every time you suit up man, whether it is a practice during the season or a workout during the summer, playing pick-up, wherever, you are always at risk of getting hurt. We understand that as basketball players you don’t want it to happen. You try to keep yourself out of precarious situations but we are on the floor, we can’t afford to have any doubt or any hesitation. Just play the game the way you know how and just pray for the best because injuries are part of the game, its just the risk you take.
What was the mood of the team after Paul George's injury?
It was a shock for sure to see one of your team mates go down and catch an injury, but I think it motivates the team more to win the gold for him.
You have been paired a lot with Derrick Rose in the backcourt so far. What do you think about him returning to a healthy form?
Physically, he looks fine. He looks explosive like he used to be and in the scrimmage last week, he looked comfortable out in a game situation, so I’m not worried about it at all. I know he’s going to have a huge impact on this team.
Do you watch footage from your father, Dell Curry's playing days? Do you listen to Drake's '0 to 100' track that you are mentioned in during warm ups?
I don’t listen to it when I warm up. When Pandora or Spotify comes on and I hear it, I always get to that lyric and kinda smile cause its kinda funny. I do watch some old footage of my dad. Just seeing his form, how quick his release was, but very thankful in the wardrobe changes since then. Those shorts are terrible.
How has your role changed when Kevin Durant backed out of playing for Team USA this summer? Were you surprised by Durant's decision?
We were surprised for sure since he played well in Vegas and he looked like the Kevin we knew. Obviously you can’t fight a guy for making a personal decision. We all make personal decisions to be here, and everybody is in a different place in their career, so I can back a guy for that. The mood around here is the same. We have a mission to accomplish and we have to figure out a way to get it done. It wasn’t going to be easy with Kevin, and now we have guys who have to step up, be versatile and play their position and really show out when we get out in Spring. It's going to be fun. I don’t know if people doubt us or not but we all have the highest confidence of what we are going to do.
Did you think at all about dropping out this summer from participating in USA Basketball?
Reacting to Paul’s injury was natural. I was talking to people like my family and guys in the front office to see where everybody was. But at the end of the day, I am very honored to wear this jersey and have these experiences, and I’m going to take advantage of them.
What was it like on the court after Paul George's devastating injury?
We knew how serious it was right away. We will just pray for the best and hope this family is comforted in dealing with the whole situation, being able to support.
Thank you, Stephen & GO TEAM USA.