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Steve Kerr tells story of wanting to draft Stephen Curry in Phoenix


OAKLAND–The blue and gold fit Steph Curry well, but how would he look in purple and orange?

It’s a thought that tantalized former Suns’ general manager and current Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr during his time in Phoenix, when Kerr was determined to land the franchise’s next Steve Nash.

Kerr served as the Suns’ general manager from 2007-2010 and worked with current Rockets’ head coach Mike D’Antoni. When the 2009 draft rolled around, the Suns owned the 14th overall pick, and even though Curry wasn’t likely to fall to Phoenix, it sounds as if Kerr thought about ways he could acquire the Warriors’ point guard to lead the franchise.

“When I was in Phoenix as a general manager, we were desperate to get Steph in the draft,” Kerr said Thursday. “One of our thoughts in the front office was all the little kids in the valley are wearing Steve Nash jerseys, we need the next player who can be that player the kids are going to buy jerseys of. I kept envisioning these Steph Curry Suns jerseys all over Scottsdale and Phoenix, and he had something about him coming out of college and nobody knew he was going to be an MVP but you could tell people would connect with him because he looks like you or me. He’s just a normal looking guy and yet he’s got this electric skill and amazing personality and so throw all that stuff together and he’s the face of the franchise.”

Curry was ultimately selected seventh by Golden State in 2009, even though four other guards were selected ahead of him. While James Thunder wound up becoming an NBA great, Tyreke Evans and Ricky Rubio haven’t exactly lived up to expectations, while Syracuse product Jonny Flynn lasted just four NBA seasons.

Even though Curry is now surrounded by elite talent that includes Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Kerr said Thursday that Curry is the unquestioned face of the franchise, which is exactly what the Warriors’ coach envisioned during his time in Phoenix.

“In many ways, Steph is our franchise,” Kerr said. “I think when people think of the Warriors, they think of Steph. We’ve got four All-Stars and we’ve got tremendous talent, great players, amazing PR guy in Raymond Ridder, but what people really think about is Steph Curry. That’s the first thought. You travel around the world and say Golden State Warriors and they say Steph Curry. I think he also embodies what we are about in terms of our style of play and the joy with which the players play the game and everybody connects to Steph. Fans out there, kids.”