Stephen Curry is entrenched in basketball lore as the greatest shooter ever. The Warriors’ coaching staff revealed a few of his trade secrets.
If you’ve been paying any kind of attention to basketball over the past 9 years, you might’ve heard of Steph. You know, the scrawny 6’3″ guard that many wrote off at the beginning of his college career?
Well if you were in a Thai prison for the last 10 years, you’d certainly be shocked by the changes in the NBA. And you’d perhaps be even more shocked to learn that it was Steph’s advent that accelerated those changes.
Steph has always had incredible accuracy on his long-range bombs, since back in his high school days. However, if you’ve followed him over the past decade, you would’ve noted the changes that he’s made to his shot.
His release is faster and more of a one-motion shot than it used to be before. His form seems far more robotically pieced together as compared to 2009. Curry also just shoots with the biggest green light in league history these days.
SI writer Chris Ballard visited a few Warriors practice sessions during their record-breaking 73-9 season. He noted a drill called ‘Beat the Ogre’ that Steph performed before games, and enquired its secret. The Warriors coaching staff’s answer resolves the mystery.
How Stephen Curry went from ‘Beat the Pro’ to ‘Beat the Ogre’
Steve Kerr described ‘Beat the Pro’ – a drill used by professional basketball players to get in shooting rhythm. In this drill, the player in question can take shots from anywhere on the floor.
A make earns them 1 point, but a miss means 2 points subtracted. The aim of the game is to reach a score of +7 without hitting -7 at any point before doing so. Sounds a bit challenging, doesn’t it? To the ordinary pro, it’s certainly a worthy and useful drill.
But the case is different for Stephen Curry. Because he gets so hot in practice sessions, the coaching staff rechristened this drill to ‘Beat the Ogre’ and changed the rule for points deduction – a missed shot would now cost Steph -4 points instead of -2.
You’d expect the drill’s considerably increased stakes to be something of a hindrance for anyone. Not for our alien aimbot called Wardell Stephen Curry. Warriors assistant Bruce Fraser notes that Steph barely takes 2 attempts to get this obstacle course done. With minimum fuss.
Young and developing pros would, however, do well to master ‘Beat the Pro’.