During his MVP press conference on Monday afternoon in Oakland, Stephen Curry acknowledged former Warriors general manager Larry Riley, who was in attendance, and stated that Riley "is the reason I'm here. He drafted me."
"He saw potential in me coming out of college, along with Don Nelson, obviously making those decisions. You're a big reason why I'm here, taking a chance on a scrawny little kid from a mid-major school, so just wanted to say thank you for believing in me," Curry said Monday.
But there were two important people in Curry's corner that didn't want the Warriors to draft him in 2009: His father, Dell, and his agent Jeff Austin.
Austin recalled the thought process of the Curry camp in an interview with Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears.
"The Knicks had eight and we thought in New York he'd be a great fit. We really wanted him to drop to eight," Austin told Spears. "Once we got to seventh, we were like, 'C'mon man, don't pick him with [Golden State].' At the time, the Warriors were not in our mind as a preferred destination."
The Clippers were set on drafting Blake Griffin No. 1 overall, so they weren't an option. Austin knew Memphis and Oklahoma City had interest at No. 2 and 3, respectively, but refused to let Curry work out with either team.
Sacramento held the No. 4 overall pick and brought in several guards for a workout including Curry and Tyreke Evans, who they eventually selected in the draft.
"Tyreke had size and a hell of a workout," ex-Kings assistant general manager Wayne Cooper told Yahoo Sports. "Curry was good, but Tyreke had the better workout that day. You can't predict the future, but at the time Tyreke was a better fit."
Austin told Spears he had no interest in Curry going to Minnesota, which owned the next two picks. The Timberwolves selected point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn.
That left the Warriors on the clock. But Austin told then-GM Riley that Curry didn't want to come to Oakland.
"I said, 'Larry, I like you a lot and respect you a lot, but don't take Steph. This is not the right place for him,' " Austin told Spears. "We wanted him in New York."
That didn't discourage Riley, though. The Warriors used the No. 7 pick on Curry and six years later, he was the leading All-Star vote-getter, named NBA MVP, and captained the Warriors to an NBA-best 67 wins during the regular season.