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‘Stephen Curry: Underrated’ doc not just a basketball story


Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ star player, gets a documentary profile with a heart-wrenching twist in AppleTV+’s “Stephen Curry: Underrated.”

Universally acknowledged as a magnificent shooter who ranks among pro basketball’s all-time greatest, Curry, 35, knew he had the guts and the goods way before anyone else (outside of his family) did.

“I’ve been making documentaries for many years,” “Underrated” director Peter Nicks (“Home,” “The Force”) began in a Zoom interview. “The more we learned about his story, the more we saw that it’s deeper than just a basketball story.”

Nicks saw his doc showered with praise at January’s Sundance Film Festival premiere.

“The framework for the story was two-pronged. We knew that it was an origin story about his time at Davidson College, a coming of age saga which ended with the run to the 2008 NCAA Tournament, which I didn’t know too much about.

“And then,” Nicks continued, “the present-day storyline was going to be him trying to fulfill this promise he made to his mother back in 2008 — that he would finish college one day.

“Which he had tried to do during the NBA lockout several years earlier but wasn’t able to accomplish. So that was going to be our present-day storyline. We were just going to keep a loose side on the season unfolding.

“But the access was challenging because he was a working NBA superstar, and also a husband and a father.  We were given access to his family, to his private life. Not as much to the Warriors because the Warriors were trying to win another championship. But we had enough access.

“It wasn’t,” Nicks added, “so much about the words, it’s more about his family. Getting to meet his parents, his grandma, his cousin.  All these little angles that we have never heard of.”

That’s why they spent the most time in North Carolina and why this doc’s heart is to watch Curry’s improbable rise and the extraordinary coach who saw his potential and became a kind of spiritual grandfather.

At the beginning of his basketball career at Davidson, the phrase comes up more than once: He’s got ice. He’s not intimidated at all; Curry knew exactly what he should be doing on the basketball court.

If Curry surprised the world, as Nicks emphasized, “He didn’t just come out of nowhere. His dad was an NBA star, actually, so he grew up around this environment. We watch as he grew up, the shortest basketball player to ever play” – at six feet two.

Curry proved size didn’t matter.

“Stephen Curry: Underrated”  streams on Apple TV+ July 21

 


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