SAN ANTONIO — As the visiting locker room cleared out on the heels of Dallas besting the San Antonio Spurs for the third time this season, Mavericks guard Seth Curry slid on an olive-green hoody for his walk outside to the team bus.
Before leaving, Curry made sure to snatch up his hardcover copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers: The Story of Success.”
Somewhere in the book, in which Gladwell poses the question of what makes high-achievers different, Curry likely finds some semblance to his own story of perseverance. Undrafted out of college, Curry wasn’t immediately launched to superstardom like his older brother, Stephen, a six-time NBA All-Star, two-time Kia MVP and three-time NBA champion.
Yet through stints with two G League teams and six squads in the NBA, Seth Curry is still here and playing at a high level, particularly as of late. Curry’s shooting 50.3% from deep since Jan. 1, the best mark in the NBA for players who have attempted at least 100 triples. He caught fire and scored 37 and 27 in his last two contests, making 11 of his 16 shots beyond the arc.
Now in his sixth NBA season, Curry sat down with NBA.com to discuss his game, teammate Luka Doncic and the Mavericks’ chances in the playoffs.
(Editor’s Note: Portions of this conversation have been condensed and edited.)
You were in the Western Conference finals last year with the Blazers. What is the potential of this Mavericks team in the playoffs?
We got a lot of potential. We’re the best offensive team in the league. We’re getting better defensively as the season rolls along. We just gotta be healthy, and like we learned last year it’s about matchups in the playoffs. You want to put yourself in the best position. It’s about managing your health and clicking on all cylinders.
How do you feel you fit in this offense?
Just trying to figure it out. There’s a lot of space out there. I can spread the floor with my shooting. I can make plays off the dribble. It’s a good offense for me to be in. I been in and out of the starting lineup all season, so just trying to get used to the lineups I’ve been playing with. I feel like I’m doing well so far.
Statistically you’re one of the best 3-point shooters ever, ranking second all-time among players that qualify. What does the work that you put in look like?
Consistent habits all year long. I’ve been doing it all my life. Just working on my game at all times. Sticking to the habits when I’m not playing well, day in and day out. Trusting and not wavering from the stuff that’s got me here. And continue to add stuff.
What are some of those daily habits?
First of all taking care of your body. Massaging, stretching, stuff like that. In the gym, it’s about consistent shooting drills before practice and after practice. On game days, just sticking to my routine whether I feel like it or don’t feel like it. It’s about doing the same thing over and over and getting those reps that will eventually play off come game time.
Do you have any favorite music that you listen to pregame?
I listen to Drake nonstop. Old Drake, new Drake. He gives me the R&B and the rap. A lot of Atlanta guys like Gunna, Lil Baby, Future. All those guys. I listen to a lot of different stuff.
How impressed are you with what Luka’s been able to do?
I’m very impressed. He’s very consistent with how he’s playing, and we know he’s talented and can do a lot of stuff. But he’s bringing it every night. So that’s probably the most impressive thing about him to me.
Is there anybody in the league you can compare him to?
He kind of does his own thing. I would say he’s like LeBron [James] with his size and ballhandling, and playmaking ability. He can make all types of passes because he’s so big and he can see everything. Obviously, he’s not as athletic and he can shoot the ball better, but I think their styles of play are similar.
What accomplishments do you expect from him over the next five years?
He can win everything. Individually and collectively, he’s got a chance to win everything from MVPs to championships. As long as he stays healthy and they keep the right pieces around him, he’s got the chance to be great.
What’s the answer to that question regarding Seth Curry?
(Laughs) I’m still trying to get back to the playoffs and have a long, consistent career. I’ve finally carved out a niche for myself in the league. So, I’m just trying to stay healthy for multiple years and play a long time. Hopefully, I get a chance to stick in one place for a while.
Who are your closest friends off the court in the NBA?
I’d say my brother. Damion Lee, my brother-in-law, Quinn Cook, Austin [Rivers], guys I played with at Duke. I’m not one of those guys that’s friends with everybody in the league. I’ve got my close friends and close circle. That’s pretty much it.
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When you’re on the plane, what are some things you try to do besides sleep?
I watch Netflix. I try to read a lot, I read a book a month and try to lock in. It’s hard sometimes cause I want to watch a show. But I try to lock in and get that done.
Who do you think has the best handles in the league?
It’s probably between Steph and Kyrie to me. They do it in different ways. Those two guys consistently handle the ball at a high level.
Kyrie recently got ruled out for the season and Steph has decided to come back. You think that’s smart on his part?
Yeah, you want to get your rhythm back. You don’t want to sit a full year. That’s never good. When you love to play like he does … He’s been trying to get back and be patient with his health. You never want to sit out a full year. He’s trying to come back and play and give these fans a show. That’s what it’s about at the end of the day. It’s about putting on a show for the fans and that’s what he’s trying to do.
You’ve been to a lot of your brother’s playoff games over the years. What will it be like this postseason knowing the Warriors won’t be there, which means he will actually be attending your games?
(Laughs) Yeah, that’s the first time I’ve thought about that one. Yeah, it might be weird. He’s only been to a playoff game of mine when he was playing in it. So yeah, that might be a little weird.
What was it like to get to play against him in the playoffs last season?
It was a lot of fun, man. We were competing against one of the best teams of all time. Obviously, they didn’t have KD (Kevin Durant). But they were very good. Then my parents were in the stands watching the games and stuff. So, it was a special experience for the whole fam.
Do you appreciate where you are in your career now more considering the grind you had to endure to get here?
Yeah, for sure. My path was a lot different. Obviously, I got it out the mud. I grinded for mine. I definitely appreciate it. I knew I had the talent. I was just trying to get the opportunity to show it at this level. I finally got it. So now I’m just trying to play for a long time.
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Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here , find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.
NBA.com senior producer Khari Arnold contributed to this report.
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