The Golden State Warriors are staking their claim to beat the '95-96 Chicago Bulls mark for NBA regular season record, chasing down the infamous mark of 72-10.
Stephen Curry is looking to make some history of his own, not only confirming himself as the greatest shooter of all time (as if it was already in doubt) but also by becoming the first ever NBA Most Valuable Player to win Most Improved Player the season after.
There's one very good reason for this feat: Steve Kerr. It might only be his second season in coaching but the Warriors HC has turned Curry from a normal All-Star into the global megastar we see today. How did he manage it? By letting Curry play with no fear.
The Power of Confidence
Curry has a complete freedom to do pretty much what he wants in the Warriors offense when he's got the ball in hand. If the point guard thinks he has a shot on then he is going to take it every single time.
Steph doesn't have to worry about being pulled from the game because Kerr trusts him and has confidence in his ability. If there is anything that can make a player's self-belief soar and push him to new heights it is knowing that his coach is behind him 100%.
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NBA legend George Gervin agrees with that assertion.
"He can shoot it off the dribble, he has got confidence, he has got the green light; he can shoot it anytime he wants, take any kind of shot he wants, it does nothing but give you confidence," Gervin said when we spoke to him at All-Star weekend.
Enjoying the Game
The former San Antonio Spurs marksman and nine-time All-Star asserted that he knew what the feeling of having a coach backing him can do.
"I was the same myself, I shot 51 percent career, I got 26,000 points," the Hall of Famer added.
"I feel good about that because I had that green light to where I can be creative and do the things I wanted to do on a basketball court without worrying about the coach pulling me out."
Can Curry get Better?
So, what happens when players have the utmost trust of their coach to do the right thing and play the game naturally? Well, according to Gervin, it only improves play. Potentially even to a 'Most Improved Player' caliber level.
"All he is going to do is get better. Preferably he stays healthy, and we are going to see some more entertaining things from that young man because he is special."
This is how Kerr got Curry to a superstar level, he just let the guard play with freedom. There's no crazy gameplan, or telling other players to do everything so that Curry can shine. It's simple. That's how a player who had only been to one All-Star Game becomes MVP and All-NBA first team.
As Gervin says, Curry is special. The 27-year-old is on another level to anyone else in the league right now. Debates about his place among the greats are useless, just sit back and enjoy his play.
And remember to acknowledge Steve Kerr's role in the rise of Curry, he deserves a lot of credit for it.