Why Monta knew Steph would turn into NBA star he is today originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Former Warriors guard Monta Ellis knew Steph Curry before the rest of the world did.
After being in the NBA for four years already, Ellis saw Curry come into the league when Golden State selected him with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.
And even though the undersized duo couldn’t really find any success on the hardwood, Ellis said he noticed the work young Steph was putting in.
Now more than a decade later, Curry is just days away from becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in career 3-pointers.
But Ellis isn’t surprised the Curry he played alongside years ago is on the verge of making NBA history.
“You could see it. He put in the time. He put in the work. He did all the necessary things to put himself in this position,” Ellis told 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny and Guru” on Friday. “From Day 1, he came in, took a lot of criticism. So I think he just embraced that, continued to work hard and got better over the years, and put himself into a position where we’re talking about him breaking Ray Allen’s record. He put himself in the position to be here by working hard and grinding and staying with it.”
Curry’s six threes against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, increased his career total to 2,964 — just 10 triples away from dethroning Allen.
Allen’s 2,973 triples came over the span of 1,300 games. Steph will likely become the 3-point king under 790 games, presenting the question: What will the record be set at when Steph retires?
It’s kind of wild to think about, but then you remember that Steph completely redefined the game of basketball and how it is played now.
Even though it’s different than what he was used to, Ellis acknowledged that behind-the-arc shooting has become part of today’s game.
But Ellis added only certain players, like Steph, should be shooting the 3-ball.
“It’s part of the game. As a player, you gotta understand when or how,” Ellis said. “If you like Steph and you master it and you create the space to get that shot off then that’s cool, but if you don’t have the same ability that Steph has, which a lot of people don’t, then I don’t think you should sit there and only shoot threes.”