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Great players make great coaches — Steph Curry is to Steve Kerr what Tim Duncan is to Gregg Popovich

Given the fact he played for Pop with Tim Duncan as his teammate, no wonder Steve Kerr appreciates he has Steph Curry, the modern-day Timmy, making everyone's life easier.
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr with guard Stephen Curry. San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and forward Tim Duncan

Steve Kerr, Steph Curry, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich

Steve Kerr recently expressed appreciation to Steph Curry. Would he still be as accomplished as a coach without Curry?

“I’ll just look back and say thank you to Steph”

The Golden State Warriors became a blueprint on how teams should build based on draft picks. When they landed Steph Curry with the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, not much was expected of him. Fast forward to 2022, the franchise has more than doubled in value, the Warriors are playing in their sixth Finals with Chef Curry, and nothing was ever the same again. Steve Kerr recognizes greatness and pays tribute to his star player, who became the catalyst for the turnaround, especially in his coaching career.

Whenever I’m done coaching, I’ll just look back and say thank you to Steph, night after night because he’s made this situation for us, as an organization, easy for everybody. He’s just a special player, a special person.

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His ethics, attitude, and treatment of fans make Curry a lovable figure on the basketball court. The generational player has never been a locker room trouble and never caused any off-court dramas. In fact, he agreed to take a pay cut for GSW to retain the talents they needed to build a contender. Without his sacrifices, lives would be different for those living and working in Golden State.

Gregg Popovich’s similarities to Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr won a championship under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and the two worked together on the U.S.A Basketball team, but the connections and similarities don’t end there. Like Kerr, Pop once praised his star player Tim Duncan and claimed there would be no Coach Pop if there’s no TD. Popovich had only nice words to say when asked to describe The Big Fundamental before his induction into the Hall of Fame.

Would Coach Pop be as successful if Duncan didn’t play for the Spurs? It’s hard to imagine. TD and Steph Curry are similar in many ways. Both came to the league and changed the fortunes of the teams they played for, turning them into a dynasty. Steph and TD revolutionized the game and succeeded by sacrificing their salaries to retain formidable lineups. Tim and Curry also happened to be the nicest guys on and off the court, so could anyone blame Steve and Gregg if they show appreciation to these two superstars who made them great coaches?

It’s always a two-way process: a player needs to have the right coach, and the right coach needs to have the right players who are fit in his system. In the case of Steph Curry and Tim Duncan, they are the right fit with the right attitude and mindset needed by their coaches. It’s rare when these happen, but sometimes stars align, and basketball fans should be grateful for witnessing greatness. 

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