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Steph reveals why he’s never tried to be a ‘foul-baiter

In Sports
February 24, 2024

Steph reveals why he’s never tried to be a ‘foul-baiter originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Steph Curry is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history despite consistently posting low free-throw attempt numbers relative to the league’s top bucket-getters.

Curry is the NBA’s fifth-leading scorer (28.1 PPG) during the 2023-24 season but is the only player in the top 15 in points per game averaging less than 5.5 free-throw attempts per contest.

Following the Warriors’ 128-120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday at Chase Center — a game where Curry scored 32 points despite only having two free-throw attempts — the superstar point guard explained how seeking contact in an effort to draw fouls has never been a focal point of his game.

“I’ve never been a foul-baiter or worried about selling calls,” Curry told reporters. “I’ve made jokes like, ‘I got two free throws today, I cheered.’ Let out a nice little yell just being sarcastic.

“There’s maybe been two or three possessions in the last three games where you know, ‘Oh it should have been a foul.’ And then you get distracted arguing with a ref or whatever it is. I’ve been trying to not even engage with that.”

Coach Steve Kerr shared immense praise for Curry’s ability to light up the scoreboard without relying on the free-throw line to augment his point total.

“He’s [Curry] the most skilled player, I think I’ve ever seen,” Kerr told reporters. “This is a league where the game is geared towards the offensive players, we know. So, there are a lot of guys who are taking advantage of that, and seeking fouls. Steph has just never played like that.

“He doesn’t do all that stuff, he just tries to get space because he knows when he gets space he’s more than likely going to knock down a shot. He doesn’t spend a lot of time at the [free-throw] line unless we have a lead and people are fouling down the stretch. But he’s so good and so skilled. he finds a way anyway.”

Curry averaged just 4.2 free throws per game during his first NBA MVP campaign in the 2014-15 season — the fourth-lowest per game total for an MVP winner in league history, trailing only Boston Celtics center Dave Cowens (3.2 in 1972-73) and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash (3.2 in 2004-05 and 3.5 in 2005-06).

Despite approaching his 36th birthday on March 14, Curry remains one of the most potent scorers in the NBA, even without the help of the free-throw line, while posting a league-leading 258 made 3-pointers during the 2023-24 season.

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