Steph Curry

DiVincenzo credits Steph feedback for Knicks free-agency decision

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Donte DiVincenzo absolutely made the most of his limited time in the Bay by growing close to Warriors superstar Steph Curry.

Little did DiVincenzo know that his former teammate would be the person he would consult for one of the most significant decisions of his life.

In an exclusive interview with The Athletic’s Fred Katz and Anthony Slater, released on Wednesday, DiVincenzo explained how Golden State’s 10-time NBA All-Star helped him decide to sign with the New York Knicks during the 2023 NBA free agency period.

“It was on FaceTime,” DiVincenzo told Katz and Slater. “He and his family were there and his security, our team security. They’re people that I don’t take their opinion lightly.

“Ultimately, he said it,” DiVincenzo said. “It was on my mind. You know, I’m a grown man. I make my own decisions, but to have somebody of that stature to almost voice the opinion that I’m thinking — it makes you feel good about the decision you’re making, rather than if he says something way out of left field and you kind of start to question things. … He reinforced what I was thinking about New York.”

DiVincenzo initially leaned toward a deal with the Knicks after garnering interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Katz and Slater shared, citing sources. But the guard sought advice from Curry before finalizing a move to the Big Apple -- and the four-time NBA champion delivered.

DiVincenzo added that he wanted to remain with the Warriors, but both parties knew they were at a financial stalemate.

Curry also spoke to Katz and Slater, sharing how he knew DiVincenzo was doing the right thing for his career like he did when joining Golden State in the prior offseason.

“Just looking at the depth chart and the role he could play, what they needed,” Curry explained to Katz and Slater. “They were already a playoff team, starting to trend in the right direction. Then [there is] his familiarity with their players from college. That made it so he’d have the opportunity to go in and do exactly what he did for us. He’s a smart, high-IQ basketball player who plays defense.”

DiVincenzo’s ability to fit into any team’s scheme, defend and shoot the lights out made him an intriguing prospect for the then-second-round-exit Knicks. Factor in his bonds with fellow Villanova alumnus Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson, and Curry believed his friend would be fine in New York.  

During the 2023-24 NBA season, DiVincenzo has fit right in with the Knicks, averaging a career-high 13.9 points per game. He’s averaging 18.9 points on 40.5-percent shooting from 3-point range in 27 games since Dec. 30.

He credits Curry for his improved shooting, too, adding the 2-time Kia’s MVP’s signature forward lean and squared shoulders to his game.

“You wanna emulate it,” DiVincenzo explained. “You wanna be like that. All the kids wanna be like that. But there is a real piece where you look in the mirror. I’m not him. No one is him. Steph is Steph. He’s proving that year after year…”

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