“I’m different, but I have something to offer” – Stephen Curry
Unless you have been living under a rock (or have zero interest in basketball), you pretty much know who Steph Curry is. The point guard for the Golden State Warriors has led his team to countless NBA Finals (including leading the Warriors to win 4 championships), and he can seemingly hit miraculous three-point shots pretty much at the drop of a dime. In fact, Curry makes hitting impossible shots look so easy he can do it in his sleep. Curry currently has the all-time three-point scoring record in the NBA. But can you imagine there was a time when he was deemed too “small,” to even be in consideration for even playing college ball? A24 and Apple TV teamed up with Ryan Coogler’s Proximity Media, as well as Curry’s own Unanimous Media to provide insight into Curry’s game in Stephen Curry: Underrated.
Instead of being a standard documentary focusing on Curry’s past, Stephen Curry: Underrated divvys up it’s time by focusing on Curry as a young man (who went from a barely recruited and small high school player to pretty much unknown Davidson College and led them all the way to the NCAA tournament) and current times where he finally was the NBA Finals MVP after a lackluster season plagued with injuries as well as him finally earing his college degree. While the current stuff is interesting and intriguing, it’s him going from “is this kid serious” to “this kid will be one of the greats” really is informative and inspirational, because it’s almost 100% due to Curry’s drive.
Utilizing a lot of archival footage as well as interviewing former coaches, teammates, and family, director Peter Nicks helps paint a picture of a young man who pretty much nobody wanted. The son of a former NBA player stood at 6’2” and maybe weighed 150 “soaking wet with shoes on” as one of his college teammates commented, he doesn’t exactly scream “Division 1” when it comes to basketball. Nevertheless, he was driven to try and do whatever he needed to do in order to step up his game to be a competitor. His father, who knows the game, pushed him hard to change his game, and after a great deal of hard work, he was recruited by little-known Davidson College. While he did want to go play at his father’s alma mater Virginia Tech, they weren’t exactly checking out this skinny short kid from North Carolina, so he went with Davidson College, who had actively recruited him since he was in the tenth grade (he was all-state after all). If you are saying “What is Davidson College?” Then you are like me and 90% of the country. But of course, Curry and his teammates under the tutelage of coach Bob McKillop (who just “knew” what Steph was capable of) managed to turn this small college that no one could even find on a map all the way to the Elite Eight and a pitch-perfect example of a Cinderella Story.
But this wasn’t an easy climb for Curry and Davidson College. There were many hiccups along the way. Stephen Curry: Underrated juxtaposes the many roadblocks Davidson College had to some that have come up during his NBA career (especially during the 2021-2022 NBA season when he was injured and the Warriors seemed to be in a permanent slump) to display that even with his back against the wall, Stephen Curry is no quitter and will put in overtime to make sure he’s competitive and can take the thing to the next level. Another interesting part of the documentary was Curry’s drive to finally obtain his degree (a promise he made to his mother who stressed the importance of education) and all the hard work that went in for him to finally get his degree in Sociology in 2022.
Stephen Curry: Underrated isn’t necessarily a groundbreaking documentary as we really won’t learn much that we couldn’t glean from a customary Wikipedia search, but it is an inspirational story. Just learning about just how much Curry was counted out now boggles the mind, it shows just how Curry persisted to change the game of basketball as we know it shows exactly why he is an underrated basketball player.
Stephen Curry: Underrated is currently streaming on Apple TV+