Today, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry turns 29 years old. Already in his eight-year NBA career, the sharpshooter has accomplished a lot.
In fact, since 2014, Curry has won an NBA title, earned two MVP awards, been an All-Star four times, received All-NBA First-Team honors twice and led the league in scoring once.
That's quite the resume for a 29 year old, and Curry's star is seemingly still burning bright. After knocking down an NBA-record 402 three-point shots last year, Curry leads the league with 249 threes this season.
Curry, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has developed into one of the league's best players and one of the greatest three-point shooters ever to play the game.
However, the six players drafted ahead of him have had a wide range of careers, with wildly varying success. In honor of the Golden State sharpshooter's 29th birthday, let's take a look at where everyone drafted ahead of him is now.
No. 1 pick: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Though Griffin missed his entire rookie season with an injury, it's hard to fault the Clippers for this pick. In 457 career games, all with Los Angeles, Griffin has averaged 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds a night.
The forward out of Oklahoma has been an All-Star five times and has been named to the All-NBA Second Team twice.
Though he's been the subject of trade rumors the past couple of years, Griffin is still playing a huge role for the Clippers, who are currently 40-27 and in fifth place in the Western Conference.
No. 2 pick: Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies
Coming out of UConn, Thabeet - a 7'3" center - was seen as a game-changing defender with a developing offensive skill set.
Eight years later, we're still waiting for that offensive skill set to develop. Thabeet is currently playing for Mighty Sports in the Philippines' professional basketball league.
He played for four NBA teams in his five years in the league, averaging a paltry 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He still hopes to make an NBA comeback someday, but unless he does, he'll likely go down as the biggest bust in the 2009 NBA Draft.
No. 3 pick: James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
Though Harden thrived with the Thunder early in his career, he's really blossomed into one of the league's best players with the Houston Rockets.
This year, he's averaging 29.1 points and a league-best 11.1 assists per game for the resurgent 46-21 Rockets and is a legitimate MVP candidate.
He's a five-time All-Star and has been named to the All-NBA First Team twice and will likely be named for a third time this year.
Harden and Curry are two of the best point guards in the game today, so it's hard to fault the Thunder for this pick back in 2009.
No. 4 pick: Tyreke Evans, Sacramento Kings
With a draft that included Curry, Harden and Griffin, it's easy to forget that Evans is actually the player who won the 2010 Rookie of the Year award.
The Kings' guard burst onto the scene out of Memphis, averaging 20.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game during his rookie year.
Since then, though, he's cooled off. He spent his first four seasons with the Kings, but then went to the New Orleans Pelicans and was there until February, when he was sent back to Sacramento in the trade that brought DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans.
In 466 career games, Evans has averaged 16.3 points, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds a night - very useful numbers. He should have a few more years left in the league, but he'll never live up to Curry or Harden.
No. 5 pick: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 6 pick: Jonny Flynn, Minnesota Timberwolves
That's right, the Timberwolves had two chances to draft Curry, but instead took two other point guards with the picks before Golden State.
At least Rubio has turned into a useful NBA point guard (though his utter lack of shooting prowess makes him the exact opposite of Curry). He's averaging 9.8 points, 8.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game for the Timberwolves this year, but is only hitting 29.8 percent of his threes (compared to Curry's 39.3 percent).
Flynn, on the other hand, has basically disappeared. Last seen playing professionally for the Orlandina Basket in the Italian league, Flynn has dropped off the map. He hasn't tweeted since 2015 and Google turns up virtually nothing on the former Syracuse star.
In 163 career games, Flynn averaged a respectable 9.2 points and 3.9 points in three seasons, but left for Australia after the 2011-12 season.
Curry, of course, was drafted by the Warriors with the very next pick, and the rest, as they say, is history. Happy birthday, Steph!News Now - Sport News