By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Prior to the 2021 NBA All-Star Game, Stephen Curry via video call with reporters discussed Juan Carlos Navarro and La Bomba influencing him in the earlier stages of his career. He went on to win the Three-Point Contest and help Team LeBron secure the victory in the All-Star Game held in Atlanta Sunday.
“I played against him one time in international basketball and seen a lot of film,” he mentioned on retired Navarro. “His creativity, his shot selection, his rhythm on the floor. It jumps off the screen and when you play against him. I’ve seen him take the one-footed threes and the way he moved all around the floor, I learned a little of what I could implement into my game. I’ve tried the one-foot threes a couple of times, made a couple.”
Back in 2018, Curry had told Spanish TV Channel La Sexta that he wanted to copy the trademark off-balance, long-range shot.
“Definitely some inspiration there, and any guy you can kind of see yourself in when you’re out there on the floor you obviously pay attention to and there’s an opportunity every time to expand your skillset by what you see other guys do,” he added, “Definitely he’s been on my radar for sure.”
Navarro played in the NBA during the 2007-08 season attached to the Memphis Grizzlies but immediately returned to Europe and FC Barcelona. He was selected with the 40th pick of the 2002 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards but the NBA was not really meant to be for him. He put up 10.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per match in his lone season away from Spain.
All said and done since he retired in 2018, he is widely considered one of the best Turkish Airlines EuroLeague long-range shooters in history. He captured EuroLeague titles in 2003 and 2010, was named season MVP in 2009 and Final Four MVP in 2010, and has also helped in Spain’s success at the international level with several medals in FIBA competitions.
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