In spite of a stunning array of accolades, including four NBA championships and two league MVP trophies, Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry still carries an “underrated” mindset every time he steps onto the court.
“I feel like I’ve always carried that mentality because that’s part of my DNA and how I became successful on and off the court,” Curry told Sky Sports’ Maryam Clark.
“I was undersized and a late bloomer. I didn’t really have the physical gifts to pass the eye test of what it looked like to be a high Division One college basketball player or even an NBA player.
“So, it all came down to confidence, work ethic, accepting the failures, and learning lessons along the way.”
Director Peter Nicks captures the 35-year-old’s remarkable story across 110 minutes in his latest documentary – ‘Underrated’ – which is airing on Apple TV+ from July 21.
Viewers are given a film that delivers two interspersed narratives: one about Curry’s improbable ascent from scrawny Charlotte Christian guard to NBA-superstar status with the Warriors, and one about his time at Davison College and the Liberal Arts College Hoops Team.
Nicks’ decision to weave the two parallels together makes for a complete telling of the hardships Curry encounters professionally and personally – one that the veteran guard is keen to discuss.
“I hope it’s a story that doesn’t resonate with just basketball players or people in sports; there’s a life lesson for everyone: putting yourself out there, going for it, and taking your chances.
“Believing in yourself, surrounding yourself with great people, and learning a lot about yourself is the process. I still carry that underrated mindset.
“Even after winning four championships and the finals MVP, it’s still a part of my DNA going forward, and I think it always will be”.
Curry replicated that mindset on the golf front when he became the first active athlete since 2000 to win the American Century Championship with an 18-foot putt for an eagle on the final hole.
The father of two shocked the NBA world at the beginning of his career when his mercurial skills helped the Dubs towards three championship wins in four years – two of those titles came against LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.
Unsurprisingly, he’s proving to be just as adept at other sports.
“It was crazy, for sure,” Curry smiled when reflecting on his round.
“Just an understatement of how much I love the game of golf, how much I’ve been able to leverage that passion for the game to try to create opportunities for the next generation.
“I’ve especially been trying to increase diversity within the game, be on a stage like that, and win a golf tournament.
“That will hopefully only increase the energy and attention to the game I want to be a part of”.
The seasoned guard has also enjoyed looking back on a glittering career while making the documentary.
“There’s stuff that I forgot about,” he said. “Different clips or conversations with coaches, team-mates, fans, people that were around in the early days of my life and my career and even those three years that I was at Davidson College.”
Curry is referring to his formative years before declaring for the 2009 NBA Draft, when the Warriors selected him seventh behind Blake Griffin (No 1), James Harden (No 3), Ricky Rubio (No 5), and three others.
“To relive it, not only through the videos and the clips but through other people’s perspectives and their stories and recollection of it, was special,” he admitted.
“For people who don’t know anything about that part of my life or that story or whether you do, you’ll learn something. And hopefully, it can touch a lot of different people in a lot of ways.”
Erick Peyton, who worked on the documentary as a producer, echoed his sentiments.
“Pete Nicks put people in a position who were extremely talented and could create Steph’s story. It was an amazing decision because you could see the similarities between how he was in the past and how he is now.”
Nicks, who had previously directed a trilogy of documentaries about Bay Area institutions, also recruited Ryan Coogler to help on a more executive level.
“We were fortunate to have Eric and Steph approach us as potential partners for this story,” Coogler said.
“And we were fortunate that Pete could take the project on. He’s a really great filmmaker, very experienced, and I think he has a unique vision that we were able to support.
“I think the film tells a story about people making assessments that don’t match how you see yourself. Those stories are the most powerful.”