When the Warriors lost Kevin Durant for several weeks during the second half of last season, Stephen Curry changed his leadership approach by increasing his intensity.
"You just saw him practicing and he started becoming more aggressive," David West recalled to ESPN. "When we were going 5-on-5, he was going 100 miles an hour and everybody is like, 'Oh s---. This m-----f----- is serious.' And that was also at shootaround. He got everybody going. It was during that stretch that he became a little bit more vocal, more demonstrative about the urgency we needed to have to keep the season alive when you lose somebody like KD."
Durant noticed the change in Curry as well.
"Hell yeah, I saw it," Durant said. "As a leader, as one of the best players in the league, you see one of your teammates go down, you feel as though you have to pick up the slack. ... Mentally, he was just locked in and he's been that way ever since. That focus carried us to a title last year."
"I've had to learn when it was time to say something," Curry said. "I wasn't always considered one of the best players on the team. I had to grow into the role of leadership, and in many ways, I'm still growing into it. But I know how to work hard, and I like to let that speak for me."
Curry has tried to emulate the leadership he learned from his coach at Davidson.
"Coach Bob McKillop is the best example of how I always wanted to lead a team," Curry said. "He wasn't loud, but his message and tone was consistent enough that you knew what he stood for and guys followed. He knew when and how to get his point across and that's what I try to do here."
"I think it's how hard he works combined with his humility off the floor," said Steve Kerr. "He's just a decent human being; such a nice player. He's obviously a superstar player, but he acts like he's the 12th man. I can get on him in film sessions and he never seems to mind. He leads by example. He's a great guy, a great teammate and the players respect him. That's what a captain is about."