“Knew He Was SPECIAL”: When LeBron James Made His Way to Stephen Curry’s Sweet Sixteen NCAA Matchup

“Knew He Was SPECIAL”: When LeBron James Made His Way to Stephen Curry’s Sweet Sixteen NCAA Matchup

Before changing the landscape of the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and becoming arguably the most influential player of his generation, Stephen Curry was an undersized guard at Davidson College.

Yet, in 2008, he orchestrated one of the unlikeliest NCAA Tournament runs, giving the world, and LeBron James, who was in attendance, a taste of his talent.

After two upset wins over Gonzaga and Georgetown, Curry and Davidson were scheduled to face Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 round.

Wisconsin was the heavy favorite and was expected to cruise to an easy win and end Curry and Davidson’s magical run in the tournament.

However, the diminutive guard had other ideas.

Curry put on a show, scoring 33 points, two more than the rest of Davidson’s starters combined. J

ames was in attendance at Ford Field that evening to witness the future two-time NBA MVP put on a show and according to him, it wasn’t a coincidence. In 2019, he revealed on X, formerly called Twitter, that he was at Ford Field to watch Curry in action because he knew the guard would become a top-tier player. He wrote,

Wasn’t some kid to me. I knew he was SPECIAL that’s why I went to see it up close and personal!”

While James did see Curry dismantle Wisconsin, he did not fly to Detroit to only watch the guard.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were in Detroit to face the Pistons on March 29th, 2008, one day after Davidson’s win over Wisconsin.

The four-time MVP likely wouldn’t have attended the game without that slice of luck.

However, as fate would have it, James was present in the right place, at the right time, to witness his future rival drop one of the most memorable individual performances in NCAA tournament history.

Stephen Curry’s draft stock after Davidson’s run

After leading Davidson to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 round in 2008, Stephen Curry spent another year in college before declaring for the 2009 NBA draft. Despite his heroics a year earlier, he wasn’t among the top prospects in his draft class.

Bleacher Report’s draft profile capped Curry’s ceiling as a player at Mike Bibby, a solid role player, who carved out a 13-year career in the NBA. Ironically, the report also suggested that the Davidson guard would at worst become a role player at a level similar to Steve Kerr.

The Warriors drafted Curry seventh overall and for three years, they had to wait for him to find his footing. Meanwhile, they added Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to the roster via the draft. In the 2012-13 season, Curry had his first season averaging over 20 points and hasn’t looked back since.

A year later, Kerr, Curry’s worst-case scenario as a player, joined the Warriors as the team’s new head coach. The duo, along with Thompson and Green formed the quartet that won four of the next eight NBA titles and forged the Warriors’ status as a dynasty.

Curry collected two MVP awards, ten All-Star nods, and nine All-NBA nominations.

Curry exceeded all expectations, as he did in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, and achieved enough success to challenge Magic Johnson‘s status as the greatest point guard in NBA history. Nobody envisioned that the diminutive guard from Davidson College would hit these heights, except maybe LeBron James.

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy

https://newsnews24h.com - © 2024 News