The basketball world is always looking for the next best thing, and Warriors star Stephen Curry is the popular benchmark for up-and-coming shooting guards.
Just ask Buddy Hield (or UCLA’s Lonzo Ball), as Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly has made the Curry comparison to his new young shooter acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans in the trade for DeMarcus Cousins.
But Buddy ain’t buying it.
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“People said (I was like) Steph Curry in college,” he told Bleacher Report this week. “Yeah, I guess, but I gotta develop. Steph Curry, he’s a different animal. He’s in his own world. He does whatever he wants. I can’t do the things Steph Curry does right now.
“I’m not Steph Curry.”
And, as numbers would have it, he’s absolutely right. In case there was any doubt, here’s a look at Hield and Curry’s rookie seasons.
In four games with the Kings, Hield has shown improvement in most categories, shooting 51.3 percent, including 42.1 from 3-point range, and averaging 13.8 points in 26.5 minutes.
Kings coach Dave Joerger says he expects Hield’s numbers to keep improving as he becomes more comfortable in the offense.
Hield did enough in college to win the favor of the Kings, who are said to have coveted him on draft day, when he went sixth overall, two selections before Sacramento’s turn.
As a senior at Oklahoma, he was named Naismith Player of the Year and averaged 25.0 points on 50.1 percent shooting, including 45.7 from 3-point range. In Curry’s last season at Davidson, he averaged 28.6 points on 51.9 percent shooting, 43.9 from 3-point range.