Jeremy Lin recalls playing with a young Steph Curry, whose unique mix of intensity and 'gentleness' foreshadowed stardom

Jeremy Lin recalls playing with a young Steph Curry, whose unique mix of intensity and 'gentleness' foreshadowed stardom
Stephen Curry, in a suit, laughs alongside Jeremy Lin, in Warriors warmups, while sitting on the bench in 2010.
Stephen Curry and Jeremy Lin in 2010.Susan Tripp Pollard/MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
  • Jeremy Lin told Insider that he knew Stephen Curry was destined for stardom.

  • Lin says Curry always had fun working out and had a mix of competitiveness and "gentleness" that was unique among NBA players.

  • Lin recalled being blown away by Curry playing through an injury on the final game of the season.

Jeremy Lin knew Stephen Curry was going to be a star from the get-go.

Lin and Curry were teammates on the Golden State Warriors in 2010-11. Lin was a rookie while Curry was in his second season.

Lin told Insider that Curry had a magnetic personality, drawing others to him.

"He had this, like, gentleness, but at the same time, this killer confidence," Lin said. "It was really unique."

Lin said Curry always made working out seem fun, recalling how Curry would shoot the ball, then turn around and dance as it was going through the hoop.

Curry averaged 18.6 points per game on 48.0% shooting from the field, 44.2% from three. Lin said Curry was still being benched for poor shots, cold streaks, or defensive lapses, but that he looked capable of becoming the face of the franchise.

"I think he averaged almost 20 points a game," Lin said. "And I'm just like, man, if this guy and when this guy gets the keys to the franchise, like he's in his second year averaging almost 20 points a game, kind of being benched very often and being sat for long stretches at a time — I was just like, man, the talent is there."

Stephen Curry holds up three fingers on both hands while running down the court during a game in 2011.
Stephen Curry in 2011.John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Lin said he often recalls a moment from that year when Curry decided to play through an injury. It was the final game of the season, and the Warriors were well out of the playoff picture. Curry had been battling ankle issues; however, he was determined to play in the meaningless game, stunning Lin.

"He's limping around. He's like, 'I'm playing tonight,'" Lin recalls.

"I'm like, are you serious? Like, why would you ever — who would do that? But he was just like, 'I'm playing tonight. I wanna play. I would love to play. If I can limp, I can play.' And I'm just like, wow, that's a special passion for the game. I honestly believe like 90-something percent of NBA players don't do that in that situation."

Curry did indeed play in that game. He scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with 9 assists, as the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-86. Lin came off the bench and scored 12 points.

Members of the Warriors have often discussed how Curry's personality is different from other stars.

Andre Iguodala said on JJ Redick's podcast that Curry is the most humble superstar he's ever been around.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has frequently praised Curry's humility and low-maintenance personality. When Curry came off the bench at the start last season's playoffs, as he was returning from injury, Kerr said Curry made it a running joke, rather than complaining.

"He was perfectly content coming off the bench," Kerr said, adding: "That's Steph. What might be a serious issue with other players, it turned into a complete joke for him, where it's like, we're laughing at it."

Jeremy Lin and Stephen Curry hug after the 2019 NBA Finals.
Jeremy Lin knew Stephen Curry was destined for greatness.Ben Margot/AP Images

Though Lin knew Curry was special, he didn't know how "revolutionary" Curry would become.

"He's literally redefined the game, changed the trajectory of the history of basketball with how he's been playing and what he's done," Lin said.

Read the original article on Insider