Curry was able to earn Bryant's respect.
Steph Curry will most likely go down as the best shooter in NBA history, although things weren't always easy for the three-time champion. During the early stages of 2014, the Golden State Warriors were an up and coming team who hadn't established themselves as a dynasty for the ages. Curry was just about to hit his stride and during the preseason of their championship year, he was able to catch the attention of Kobe Bryant. During a game on October 12th, 2014, Curry went up the court and faced some in-your-face defense from Bryant. That's when he pulled off a step-back three that would soon become the star's staple.
In a recent interview, Curry talked about the moment and how he was able to pull it off.
"This is him, I think the year after his Achilles [tear] and he's trying to get his competitive fire back because he missed so much time. He started to pick me up full court two possessions in a row, so this is the second possession. So I took the challenge obviously. They let him foul and they didn't call that so I kinda had to work with that," Curry said. "But I came down the court and he was trying to steal it, trying to be physical. I got him with a little half step to get a little bit of space and then just pulled it from deep and obviously it went in and then his smile afterward, the little ass tap."
From there, Curry and the Warriors went on to win the championship against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. If Curry didn't have the league's respect at that point, he would certainly gain it after that.