In the nine years that have passed since the 2009 NBA Draft, many have felt that Stephen Curry should have ended up with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were picking fifth and sixth and went with Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, who, like Curry, were projected as pro point guards. Instead, Curry was chosen seventh overall by the Golden State Warriors, and he’s since won two MVP awards and led the Warriors to three NBA championships in the last four years. While the Timberwolves have often been criticized for passing on a potential Hall of Fame point guard, Curry claimed in a recent interview that there might be an interesting reason why Minnesota chose not to draft him.
In an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast on The Ringer, Curry sat down with the show’s titular host and discussed various topics, including his long-running backcourt partnership with Klay Thompson, the Warriors’ recent achievements in the NBA Finals, and the supposed reason behind the Timberwolves’ decision to pass on him in the 2009 NBA Draft despite having two chances to pick him. According to Curry, the Timberwolves’ general manager at the time, David Kahn, was thinking of one of the second-generation NBA star’s favorite off-court pastimes.
“My guy David Kahn. I don’t know where he’s at right now. I don’t know if that ever came out,” Curry recalled, as transcribed by Uproxx.
“There’s a story… Everyone knows how much I love golf and play it in my spare time or whatnot. I think the word on the street was that he didn’t draft me because Minnesota is cold and I wouldn’t be able to play as much golf so I’d be miserable.”
When Simmons asked Curry if the Minnesota Timberwolves story is true, the 30-year-old Warriors guard said that he hopes it is, because he finds it “hilarious.”
While Stephen Curry has averaged 23.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in nine NBA seasons, the two Timberwolves point guards chosen ahead of him produced mixed results. Rubio, whose NBA debut was delayed two years due to commitments to Barcelona in the Spanish ACB League, has had a decent NBA career thus far, with career averages of 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists, and two steals. Flynn, on the other hand, had a promising rookie campaign, but ultimately stalled due to an “ill-timed” hip injury, as Uproxx recalled.
Despite how Uproxx described the Stephen Curry/Minnesota Timberwolves golf story as being “absurd,” the publication opined that the team had nonetheless “messed up” by passing on arguably the best player regardless of position in the 2009 NBA Draft. Bleacher Report added that Minnesota fans have likely been left wondering what could have happened if the Timberwolves drafted Curry, despite the fact that the team ended a 14-year playoff drought earlier this year with a lineup led by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler.