In the wake of the news that Kyrie Irving will be sidelined a couple of weeks due to injury, the Cavaliers chose to enlist the help of the star's former college teammate to fill in while he sits out.
Seth Curry, a stud point guard with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA D-League, received his second call-up to the NBA this season by signing a ten-day contract with Cleveland.
Following the first shoot-around as a member of his new team, Curry was flanked by the media and asked the usual questions about how it feels to be the brother of Stephen and the son of Dell. Putting it bluntly, the younger Curry asserted this much: being part of such a family is an advantage, for more reasons than one.
By now, no one can deny Curry's powerful pedigree or doubt how much he's learned over the years when leaning on two of the league's best shooters (past and present) for advice and guidance. His arrival in Cleveland did lead to a little bit of a different question, however: what's it going to be like to learn from a player like Irving?
Frankly, as a rookie, Curry will have to continue adapting to a new league, grow, and learn what it means to be an NBA player. Still, a potential wealth of knowledge has never really been the young gun's problem.
At 23, Curry is actually two years older than Irving (21). After transferring from Liberty, the former went on to play three seasons at Duke. He was a four-year collegiate athlete, whereas the younger Irving played all of eleven games before succumbing to injury and then subsequently declaring for the NBA Draft.
Despite his impressive pedigree and continued college experience, this question remains: what can Curry learn from Irving?
One can't exactly "teach" or transfer such star power to another player. There doesn't seem like Curry will need much from Irving, other than perhaps besides a good friend, a supporter, and a helpful teammate along the way.
Of course, Curry himself has a long way to go. After all, there's always a reason or two why a youngster like himself is (or was, in this case) in the D-League. There's something such a player needs to work on and/or develop. In the case of Curry, he needs to embrace being more of a floor general. There should be more of a balance between finding his teammates in the right spots, while, at the same time, knowing when to kick things up a notch and begin looking for his own offense as well. One of the more assertive offensive players in all of the minor league, Curry had been making strides with this all season long, as evidenced by his most recent promotion.
Still, what Curry needs most at this point is not necessarily guidance from a player like Irving. Instead, he needs a chance to play, prove himself, and strut his stuff on the NBA floor.
As he departs the NBADL, Curry boasts averages of 19.4 points (on 44% from the field and 36% from deep) and 5.9 assists, but there's no guarantee his success on the minor league level will translate to The Association.
Having said that, there's only one way to find either way: let him play.
As Curry trades in his Warriors jersey for a Cavaliers' one, Santa Cruz is in the thick of a race for the division crown. Currently one game in back of the surging Los Angeles D-Fenders, the point guard's now former team hopes to pull ahead with just weeks remaining in the season.