July 12, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Steph Curry. Dell Curry will be joining us too. Steph, welcome back. Great to have you here, as always. Congratulations on No. 3, and I'm talking about your child.
STEPH CURRY: Thank you very much.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Can you take us back to the old days when you were taught -- tell us when you were first introduced to basketball, and when you were first introduced to golf, and apparently eventually at some point you had to make a decision I'm going to be a basketball player instead of a golfer?
STEPH CURRY: That was never a decision. I learned -- I got to the game of basketball from the time I can remember, two or three, shooting Fisher Price hoops in my house. And obviously love the game from the jump.
Golf, I got introduced to it when I was eight. My dad took me out on the course. I go drive the golf cart with him and putt with a little sawed-down, cut-down putter. At 12 I started playing full rounds and fell in love with the game of golf. But I was well on my way basketball-wise at that point.
So I've always been a golf junkie watching it on TV all the time trying to get immersed in it as much as I can. But I know what my day job is and enjoy the challenges and the journey and the career that basketball has given me.
To be able to be in this situation like this every year, you kind of morph my two worlds, my love for golf and competitive environment of being an athlete, and it's a pretty cool experience out here. I look forward to it.
Q. I heard you tell Chuck right after the finals that one of your first thoughts is always: When is Tahoe? Why is this event so special to you?
STEPH CURRY: There's no better feeling than hitting good shots in golf but also you double that down and think about a venue like this in front of so many people, the energy out here, and you're competing.
Understanding that this is one of the -- this is one of the two times I get to play competitive golf. It was fun playing in the Web.com event out in the Bay Area last year.
I'm going to try to do that again this summer. But those two kind of events I circle on the calendar and look forward to just because you get to be in a competitive environment. Just the adrenalin rush is crazy out there.
I'm actually sitting here, it was a practice round or pro-am or whatever you want to call it, and made a nice putt on 18 and felt a great feeling. That's what golf brings you. It obviously humbles you as well. But you like those great moments you have.
Q. Did last year's experience on the mini tour and the one tournament you played --
STEPH CURRY: Wait, that shirt was way too bright (referring to Dell Curry). I can't see. I know I heard he played well today. I'm trying any mental itch.
Q. Dell, how good a golfer was Steph when he was a kid? Would you have been better off steering him towards golf, which he's obviously better suited for?
DELL CURRY: First mistake I made was starting him early about eight and he caught me and passed me really quickly. But he always had good hand-eye coordination, love for the game, good feel for the game. And like basketball, he's a student of the game first.
He really paid attention to me and my buddies and how we played, the golf etiquette, the kind of shots we hit and just took off from there.
Q. But there was never a question that he would not be a basketball player?
DELL CURRY: You have to ask him that. We put all the sports in front of them and then they weeded the ones out that they were less interested in.
Q. Steph, you had the best day three last year than anyone in the tournament. Does that give you the confidence you can win this whole thing this year?
STEPH CURRY: If I can do that three days in a row I'd run away with it. But I know how crazy strong the field is. Guys that play all year-round and have had amazing success at this tournament and other tournaments like it.
Obviously Mark Mulder, Mardy Fish, Mark Rypien, Jeremy Roenick, the list goes on. John Smoltz just played in the Senior U.S. Open, right? So I know where I stand when it comes to that.
But that Sunday definitely gave me confidence just to enjoy the moment and just have high expectations, I guess, and hopefully I get off to a good start tomorrow where I give myself a chance and hopefully it gets interesting.
Q. Steph, I was here for your first year here after your rookie season. You had eight or ten people around your first hole. How have you seen this thing grow in terms of the fanfare and what's it like to be up so close seeing the 30 jerseys out there?
STEPH CURRY: It is crazy to think about the transformation from '09 to now, or 2010 to now. So obviously so close to Dub Nation. And a lot of fans come, make the trip up here to beautiful Lake Tahoe and come out to the course and watch us play. And it's crazy.
Like I say, it's Thursday and the real rounds didn't really start. But the energy out there and the amount of people following, trekking through the course and cheering good shots and booing bad shots, all that type of stuff, it's fun.
I enjoy it, and try to give as many fans a good amount of time, sign autographs, taking pictures and all that. But obviously we're here to play golf and have fun.
Q. Dell, last time we saw you here last year it was face first into Lake Tahoe. So we understand there's another bet this year. You guys going to reveal that today?
DELL CURRY: No. We're going to wait and see what happens.
Q. Steph, do you have anything to say about that?
DELL CURRY: I'm playing better than I did last year. So we'll see what happens.
STEPH CURRY: I've got scouting reports out on him, we played together yesterday, didn't play together today and we're in the same group tomorrow. We might have to do some hard negotiating tonight at the house to see what the bet will be because his game is a lot better than it was. And my work's cut out for me.
Q. During the press conference call with your dad, he mentioned that your caddies made that bet last year and that you weren't involved. Is that true?
STEPH CURRY: We were aware but we weren't involved in the hard conversations. And every time -- our little group that comes up, we get together throughout the course of the year, whether it's road trips or games or playoffs, that topic always comes up.
So that tells you how much we look forward to this event. It's always on top of our mind throughout the year.
Q. Steph, last year, on the last day, Sunday, you hit a 28 -- you hit a plus-28. Now, I don't know how you do it other than the fact you're a super athlete. Congratulations. And I'll ask you about some 3-pointers after this. I'm amazed with all the distractions, you're playing with Tony Romo and Justin Timberlake. I'm sure you didn't have a quiet tee shot in 18 holes.
STEPH CURRY: That's where my NBA experience benefits me in this type environment. I actually don't mind the noise. I play in front of 20,000 people. It's loud; it's crazy. Play on the road, people are booing you, the whole deal.
Obviously golf, it's a little slower pace, and you've got to be able to deal with your nerves and your adrenalin standing over the ball. But the noise and the electric atmosphere doesn't really bother me. I actually kind of embrace it.
Q. I noticed not a lot of players in this tournament finished stronger on the third day obviously than they do the first or second. And you doubled your score, more than doubled your score from the first day. Any mental prep to try and get in the 20s every day? Because you beat Mulder on the last day by --
STEPH CURRY: Probably a sign I need to practice before I come up here. My first days are just kind of shaking cobwebs off. Played a decent amount this summer since the finals. I actually got away from the game about ten days, which is probably refreshing just to come in here, I have high expectations but not burn yourself out mentally really because that's part of the game of golf that is hard to simulate when you're playing your casual rounds, because tournament golf is ten times harder.
Q. With your ability to shoot 3-pointers, would you like to see a 4-point line on the court?
STEPH CURRY: I like my advantage of the 3-point line. Hopefully keep it that way.
Q. Steph, looking back on your high school memories. What was your favorite moments playing at Charlotte Christian?
STEPH CURRY: That's a great question. Didn't win a state championship, but we played, had some pretty deep runs.
Probably the best memory, which is just more for the family, was my dad was our assistant coach. My brother was a sophomore in my senior year. And he had to break up a bunch of brother fights on the court during practice that were always entertaining for everybody else on the team.
That was probably the best memory I have. Me and my brother have been playing since we were kids. Take that competitiveness on to the high school basketball floor, it was very evident.
Q. I asked the players where did they get their number from, was it something special. Or now we probably know where you got your number from?
STEPH CURRY: That's a question for him.
Q. Where did No. 30 come from you?
DELL CURRY: No. 30 -- I wore 15 in high school. And when I got to college, 15 was taken. So I just doubled it to 30. And worked out pretty good. So I stuck with it.
Q. Steph, you guys have a new player on your team. And Steve Kerr has said he thinks that DeMarcus Cousins coming in will give you guys kind of a mental challenge and reenergize you, because you guys are going to have to work at bringing a new guy. Do you agree with what Kerr said that this is going to be a good thing and it's going to be a good mental challenge for you guys?
STEPH CURRY: I think when you look at it, like, the schemes and lineups we can throw out there and how we incorporate DeMarcus into our style of play, it will definitely challenge us.
He's a very unique player with a high skill set. And he's a dominant presence out there on the floor.
And he gives us a different element to be able to play inside/out. And we have to be able to adjust to that. Because you want to be able to leverage his unique ability to dominate the paint and give us a new element to our lineup.
So, yeah, it will be a mental change when it comes to when he's ready to play being able to help him transition and bring the best out of him and hopefully it will elevate our game as well knowing that we know we are and who our identity is as Warriors and what got us three championships out of the last four years. But he just adds a different style that's going to keep us on our toes.
DELL CURRY: I can add to that, speaking for the rest of the league. I work with the Hornets. The league is trying to figure out how to beat these guys.
So they think, okay, we'll watch how Houston played them in the Western Conference Finals. It's a blueprint to maybe how you can stay competitive. But now you throw DeMarcus Cousins in there and you throw that blueprint out, you've got retool, regroup, figure out how to beat the Warriors with another dominant player. That's why you hear a lot of ruckus around the league about how the guys just continue to get better because they're going to be hard to beat.
Q. Can we see a time maybe where Cousins will be the 3-point guy and Steph will be low post?
STEPH CURRY: I need to go eat like five more meals, beef up a little bit, if we're going to do that.
Q. Steph, you've gained a lot of fame and you talked about how exciting it is being out on the course with so many people. And, Dell, I'm sure you could speak to this as well. What advice, Dell, have you had for Steph as he's gained this fame over the years? He wasn't necessarily a highly recruited athlete out of college compared to a lot of the other athletes. How have you dealt with the fame over the years? Have you gotten more comfortable with it? What advice would you have for high school athletes that are highly recruited out there at this point in time?
STEPH CURRY: I mean, everybody's journey's different. And everybody's timing is different. And if you think about kind of my journey to the league from high school to college, to now I played at Davidson, a small known Division I school at the time.
I had the utmost confidence in myself with the opportunity to play no matter where it was I would be able to take advantage of it and continue to get better, focus on the things I needed to do to improve my skill every year, be a hard worker. Just appreciate the opportunity. So a lot of guys get caught up in trying to go high D-I and chase these scholarships to schools where they think they need to go.
Everybody just needs to kind of find the right fit the best you can. And whether you make it to the league or not, if you have the right intentions and the right attitude every single day you'll get the most out of it from an experience standpoint with your relationship with your coaches, your teammates, the people that you go to school with, and you'll turn out great no matter if you're playing professional basketball or not.
Obviously making it to the league, there's only 450 spots, it's extremely hard, but the game of basketball offers so many benefits along the way that that's why everybody loves to play.
DELL CURRY: And you asked about the fame. The only advice that I give him and anybody else is to keep good people around you. Keep that tight group of people around you that are going to support you, tell you the truth when you need to be told the truth. But keep you grounded. Keep you humble and keep you hungry as well.
Q. Steph, how much are you going to miss the University of Nevada graduate JaVale McGee on your team? What do you think about him joining LeBron and the Lakers?
STEPH CURRY: I'm happy for him. He made the decision because it's the right one for him. And that's what you expect from guys in the league to make that type of decision. So for him to be a two-time champion and play as well as he did throughout the regular season, but especially in the playoffs when he was called upon to make a difference for us, he answered that.
And so all the things he's gone through in his NBA career up until two years ago have made him who he is, but he stayed true to himself and things worked out. So he's got two rings, a beautiful family. He's in LA playing with LeBron now. New experience for him. So should be fun. But hopefully he goes 0-4 in the regular season against the Warriors. (Laughter).
Q. Steph, you keep making these deep runs into the playoffs. It probably cuts into your golf prep time. Do you feel like you can compete Sunday this year?
STEPH CURRY: I do. I think I have a much better glow to myself when I win a championship. (Laughter). So I'll sacrifice that for more range time and more grinding before I come to Tahoe. So hopefully I can accomplish both every year.
Q. And you are completely healthy this year, right?
STEPH CURRY: Yeah, feeling good. Never been asked that for a golf question. That's pretty -- I can really transfer my weight to my left side. (Laughter).
Q. You need legs in basketball and golf, right?
STEPH CURRY: Exactly.
Q. Are you excited about next year, the intra-division battles, you've got LeBron in LA, your brother in Portland, how excited are you about just the intra-division battles?
STEPH CURRY: Every year's different. And you can already see the writing on the wall, how this year is going to be a different journey for us for our own team and the challenges that we're going to face with our new roster and guys are going to implement into our team and the reshaping of the league landscape, LeBron in LA and OKC going back and doubling down on their team and whatnot. And obviously the challenge Houston brings.
So can't really -- you can predict certain things, but just know that whatever we did last year is part of our identity but we can't just carbon copy it and expect to be champions again.
We have to be able to really adjust and learn and evolve and keep our hunger for winning the championship, because, like I said, it's a great feeling. It is tough to kind of fast forward mentally all the way back to June of 2019. So just gotta stay in the moment and just enjoy the ride.
Q. Steph, do you ever have regrets for not going to the Olympics and bringing home a gold medal and would you consider doing that in the future? Is that something you may consider?
STEPH CURRY: Definitely will consider it. But don't have any regrets because I had no choice but to miss it because of injury in 2016. So hopefully that opportunity comes back around.
Q. Will you tell us about the guy on 17 that you called down to shoot your -- what's up with that?
STEPH CURRY: You probably don't even know about this (looking to Dell). I was on 17. I hit it into the green-side bunker right and had about a 30-yard bunker shot. Short sided myself. So I hit it to the back fringe. As I'm hitting it, a guy yelled out something about I was a brick three or something like that.
So I heard him. He was in the stanchion over there. I heard him, I dropped my 60-degree wedge and asked for an extra ball. I threw it back in the sand and told him to come out of the crowd and hit the shot. He airmailed it probably 80 yards into the grandstand behind the green. So it's not as easy as it looks out there, even for the amateurs like me.
I actually -- I commend him for trying because some guys would have backed down. But he actually came out there in flip-flops and tried it. It was a good back and forth.
Q. You should try that in basketball.
STEPH CURRY: Adam Silver wouldn't like that at all.
Q. Steph, you're a student of golf. You watch a lot of golf. You know the game. Have you patterned your game after any golfers, or people that you watch to pick up tips?
STEPH CURRY: That would be a disaster if I tried to emulate anything that they do.
Everybody wants to swing like Adam Scott and putt like Tiger and win like Jordan Spieth. You kind of pick and choose, have the flare of Ricky Fowler and all that type of stuff.
But, no, I watch to try to pick up little nuances, but everybody's body is different swings, whatever feels comfortable. Kind of own my own swing and adjust it.
Q. I admire you for what you do on the court but I admire you the most for what you do off the court. How has your dad molded who you are today and how do you hope to influence your son and who he will become?
STEPH CURRY: That's a great question. Great question. So thank you for that.
I was obviously fortunate to grow up in the NBA circles watching my daddy play for 16 years in the NBA. So for most of my childhood I remember him going to practice and going to games and being in Charlotte, going out in the city and how fans would come up, ask him for autographs, try to get a little bit of his time, how patient and gracious he was and how professional he was in those situations.
And that definitely rubbed off on me and my brother how, if we got to that point as well, how we handled ourselves; that we're not any bigger or better than anybody else in any other walk of life.
We just happen to play a game at the highest level in front of a lot of people. So that shouldn't change who you are. And I think that's been the most consistent thing he's demonstrated: How to enjoy what you do but also to be respectful and keep a level head for sure.
So hopefully -- I know my son, he's less than two weeks old -- hopefully as he grows up he understands that same kind of idea, whether he plays basketball or golf or does anything else professionally, common courtesy is huge and you want to maintain that no matter how much success you have in life.
Q. Dell, would you address that?
DELL CURRY: I just try to conduct myself like not only is my son watching me but everybody else. And, again, I talked about the circles that -- the circle of people he has in his life. I try to keep the same circle of people in my life when my sons are with me as well.
He not only watched myself but my teammates as well, how they handled themselves in going through to be a professional athlete. But Ken will be double-teamed in that area.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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