Bob McKillop didn’t know that Steph Curry would be a two-time NBA MVP, but he did know that Curry would be great – and he knew that when Curry was just a kid.
“The thought that I always had when we first recruited him was that he was going to be very, very special,” the Davidson coach said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “As I experienced more and more time with him, I understood he had no limitations to how good he was going to be. To say that he was going to be two-time MVP, to forecast that, was not within the realm of reality for me, but I did see something very special in him, even in his first weeks of practice as a freshman at Davidson.”
McKillop saw in Curry a promising player with great vision, a high basketball IQ and unparalleled hand-eye coordination. There’s a reason why Curry is good at golf. There’s a reason why he won a state championship in baseball with McKillop’s son.
Curry can shoot a jumper, yes, but some physical attributes cross over into other sports.
“He had the capacity to live in the present,” McKillop said. “If he made a mistake, he didn’t get down about it. If he made a great play, he didn’t celebrate it. So I saw some ingredients that were technical, physical ingredients, but I also saw an emotional ingredient that I thought far surpassed anyone his age.
“Kids today can really identify with him and they see how much he has progressed,” McKillop continued. “He gets better and better and better. Who can you say actually wins the MVP but receives votes for the Most Improved Player in the same year? Steph Curry. So he’s a great model of excellence for hard work, for being an average-sized human being, to achieve greatness and live a dream.”
Some people, however, criticize Curry for taking acrobatic shots and making one-handed passes. They say he’s teaching kids poor fundamentals. McKillop doesn’t see it that way. If anything, Curry is teaching the value of hard work.
“I think Steph Curry is the consummate pro,” McKillop said. “He takes acrobatic shots, but he works at acrobatic shots. He passes with one hand, but he works at passing with one hand. You tell me how many guards go out on the court and set screens the way he does. You tell me how many guards make the extra pass, the so-called hockey assist, like he does. So he sets a tone for the fundamentals of basketball by the way he plays.”
Curry, McKillop pointed out, led the NBA in lay-up shooting percentage and free-throw shooting percentage, shooting 68 percent and nearly 91 percent, respectively, in those categories.
“What greater model of excellence could young kids want than guys who take the simple things – the lay-ups and the free throws – and have a great aspiration for excellence in those two areas?” McKillop asked.