Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors superstar, has drawn comparisons with Kobe Bryant for his work ethic, killer instinct and ability to play through injuries.
Warriors interim coach Luke Walton – who won a championship with Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010 – recently compared Curry with his former teammate. “Steph, you can see when he gets it, and he wants it, which is the exact same as Kobe. They just go about it in a different way. But he’s got that killer instinct in him,” Walton said last November.
On Thursday, the Lakers travel to Oracle Arena to face the Warriors in a game which would mark Bryant’s final appearance in Oakland. Bryant’s status for the game is still uncertain. During Tuesday’s game against New Orleans Pelicans, Bryant, suffering from a sore Achilles tendon, made an exit after playing for only seven minutes.
Curry said of Bryant, “I’m sure there’ll be huge fanfare and applause here (at Oracle Arena) when he comes, as there should. He’s done so much for the game. And being in the Pacific Division his entire career, he’s had plenty of battles up here so I’m sure the fans will give him a great response.”
Curry revealed his first interaction with Bryant as a 19-year-old sophomore at Davidson College. “That was when I was a shooting guard, so it was pretty cool,” Curry said with a smile. Curry, a teenager at the time, was attending Kobe Bryant’s skills camp in Orange County.
‘Game in a much better place’
Curry went on to appreciate Bryant’s contribution to the sport, which includes globalizing it and leading the path for a plethora of young superstars such as himself. “You know the game’s in such a much better place because Kobe played in the league for 20 years,” said the Warriors superstar.
“We appreciate all he’s done and we want to keep doing the game justice as we do what we do in our careers. He’s a great example, obviously, of what to do on the court, and at least for myself, I want to take that and keep it going,” added Curry when talking about the retiring Laker legend.
In recent years, Bryant, too, showered praise on Curry. The Warriors superstar said he was grateful that Bryant would consider “passing the torch to him”. Stephen Curry continued, “The greats set the stage and advance the league and create history and they pass the torch off to the next generation. I know Kobe really appreciates that part of it, just hearing him talk about how other players in the league like myself that watched him growing up were impacted by what he did on the court.”
Curry’s teammate, Draymond Green, reckons both superstars are cut from the same cloth, except for a minor difference. “Kobe will tell you, ‘I’m about to kill you. Steph won’t tell you. He’s just going to kill you.”
Stephen Curry is on the fast-track to win his second consecutive MVP award, a feat which eluded Bryant during his 20-year career.