DubNation Diary 7: Sights & sounds from Stephen Curry’s visit to Santa Cruz

DubNation Diary entry for March 2, 2020…

8:30am: I arrive at Hertz at SFO.

9:15am: Stephen Curry arrives at Kaiser Permanente Arena, which I will call “The Filedhouse”, apparently with no security detail per Kevin Danna, who is the Santa Cruz Warriors’ play-by-play announcer, as interviewed later on KNBR with Papa & Lund. (A great interview, as Danna witnessed the scrimmage.)

Danna said in that episode that unlike DeMarcus Cousins, who showed up with his security detail Antoine — who now is with Kevin Durant, Curry just showed up and parked in the lot across the street without any security. Luckily, without any fanfare, either.

Sometime between 10:00 and 10:45am: SCW head coach Kris Weems decides to go with three seven-minute quarters — due to some of his guys being “banged up” — instead of four, including timeouts to draw up plays, simulating game flow. Weems will coach Curry’s team, the blue team. Assistant coach James Andrisevic will coach the other team.

https://twitter.com/con_chron/status/1234575221291540481?s=21

Steph starts out slow per Danna, Weems, Jeremy Pargo and Roger Moute a Bidias — as detailed in their respective Q&As with media — even missing open shots, while seemingly getting his wind back.

Per Danna, Curry starts out with the 5’7” Kiwi Gardner guarding him, as well as recent 10-day’er Pargo. Later in the second and third quarters, it was Jonathon Simmons on him and Steph hits an amazing shot with Simmons draped all over him. Danna says that’s from the right wing. Another play Danna describes is with Curry 27 feet out. As Weems yells at a teammate to come set a pick for him, Curry pulls up, drains the long bomb and Weems jokes, “Nevermind!”

Moute a Bidias also describes a left-wing side-step jumper that he later asks Curry about.

https://twitter.com/con_chron/status/1234576510213750785?s=21

Per Danna, Curry uses his left hand — the one at the center of this rehab — to fling a cross-court pass, possibly to Moute a Bidias, in the opposite right corner for a three.

With Curry’s team down, 49-48, Weems draws up a play that Steve Kerr drew up in the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, ironically the very team that Curry might come back against on Thursday. Steph is triple-teamed and misses the buzzer-beater attempt. Apparently it was a sideways-looking shot that, per Moute a Bidias, SCW teammate Isaiah Reese asked Curry about. Steph said that he meant to get the shot off that way.

10:45am: After a pit stop at Starbucks, I arrive and see the beatwriters including Monte Poole — at 6’7”, not hard to pick out of a small crowd — and park in a metered space just yards away from “The Fieldhouse” (I can’t call it an “arena” #sorrynotsorry).

However, my cellphone reception (Sprint) isn’t good and I can’t access the parking meter website and I’m loathe to download their app, so I get back in the car without a plan, but luckily find Warriors TV staff parking in what turned out to be the same parking lot that Steph did. So we had free parking after all.

We waited in the cold shaded breeze of Santa Cruz mornings when I noticed a photographer waiting across the street but in the sun, so I decided that was smart.

11:15am: We’re let in, facilitated by Warriors PR staff Michael Ravina, and Steph is taking a team picture with the SCW and I start filming. Also in attendance: assistant GM Jonnie West, head trainer Rick Celebrini and trainers Jacob Rubin, Seth Cooper and Kyle Barbour, who will rebound for Steph. Not in attendance: assistant coach Bruce “Q” Fraser and head of security Ralph Walker, who are with the Golden State Warriors on the road on a flight to Denver.

11:30am: Curry has a little tutorial with Moute a Bidias on that side-step move. I immediately film, process and upload — the video ends up getting 60k views and counting through the first 24 hours of posting, which is pleasantly surprising to me, as it’s about 30x our normal viewership on Curry videos.

It looks like Steph is telling Roger to stay square and balanced when doing the move. Curry then begins his post-practice workout with an occasional consultation with Celebrini. Perhaps they are discussing the nerve issues?

Up until 12:21: David Lombardi of The Athletic, perhaps standing in for Anthony Slater who might have been on a flight to Denver, catches Steph draining 29 threes in a row from the corner:

The SF Chronicle had a photographer there, too, but amidst all the snapping of photos, they only post five on Connor Letourneau’s article: https://www.sfchronicle.com/warriors/article/Steph-Curry-shows-flashes-of-Steph-of-old-15100062.php

I miss the start of the Weems, the start of the Pargo and all of the Moute a Bidias interviews while juggling the balance of filming Curry along with likely copyright music playing in the background, which poses challenges for uploads to YouTube.

So, yeah, Curry stayed an hour after practice and must have gotten up hundreds of shots. 

His personal trainer Brandon Payne would later say on KNBR that he would’ve been there with Steph if not for having both sons in AAU games this past weekend.

Curry ends the workout with a dunk that gets foiled by a combination of a bad alley-oop pass by Rubin, but also probably Steph’s fatigue. Oh yeah, don’t forget the walk-away shot, which Curry drained on the first try.

I walked outside and noticed one fan with a jersey to sign, ready with the cardboard and Sharpie for easy signing and a few teenagers probably looking for selfies with Steph. With Ralph not around and Curry’s car parked right across the street, I’d be surprised if they weren’t successful (they were, see the second picture in the Instagram post below).

3-2-20
March 3, 2020

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Off to Starbucks I went to upload the rest of the videos until about 3:00p. An enjoyable and memorable trip down and back up Highway 17.

Subscribers: stay tuned for some extra footage not available to the general public!


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