Jeremy Lin and Stephen Curry were teammates on the Golden State Warriors during Lin’s 2010-11 rookie season.
In an interview with Sky Sports’ Stuart Hodge, Lin described Curry’s relationship with then-coach Keith Smart.
“The coach that we had didn’t believe that much in Steph and would bench him a lot, get on him, yell at him a lot, was just really tough on him,” Lin recalled, referring to the former Warriors’ coach.
Lin added that it was “normal” for Curry to be benched in the fourth quarter.
Nevertheless, Lin believes Curry’s faith and confidence pushed him through the difficult time.
“He was always believing in who he was and how he could play, and the shots he can make, and sticking to it,” Lin continued. “Sometimes it would get him benched, but other times it allowed him to take over the game – as long as he stuck with it and didn’t change who he was as a player.”
Lin also said that when the two would go at each other in practice, he noticed that Curry was “struggling” to defend at an NBA level, particularly when up against the speedy Lin.
“There were definitely times where I made a bucket or something, and he would be really upset at himself – not disrespectful to me in any way – but just there’s such a standard that he held himself to,” Lin said.
Holding himself to such high standards allowed Curry to grow exponentially as a player.
Lin said that from working on his defense to limiting his turnovers, Curry’s focus on being better was instrumental in building a dynasty in Golden State.
“It could have been his defense. It could have been little things like his rebounding or just his ability to manage the tempo of the game,” Lin said. “There are so many areas of his game that he has improved to the point of winning championships.”
With an incredible drive to win, there’s no reason Curry and the Warriors can’t win more NBA championships in the future.
While Jeremy Lin didn’t win a title with the Warriors, he did go on to join the Toronto Raptors during their magical run in 2019.