Arizona Basketball

SI: Former Arizona Wildcats Gumby leader Fraser essential to Curry’s Finals performance



Bruce Fraser celebrates Golden State's Western Conference title with Stephen Curry (ESPN screen shot)

Bruce Fraser celebrates Golden State’s Western Conference title with Stephen Curry (ESPN screen shot)

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He may not have the popularity of head coach Steve Kerr, but former Arizona Wildcats Gumby leader Bruce Fraser had a significant impact on Golden State’s title.

Sports Illustrated published today an article detailing the importance of Fraser, a Golden State assistant, to the development of sharpshooter Stephen Curry and the NBA title earned by the Warriors.

The article, written by Lee Jenkins, notes that Fraser “works with Curry more than any other Warriors coach”.

After Curry made only 5-of-23 shots from the field in Games 1 and 2 against Cleveland, Fraser pulled Curry aside in their workout. Fraser, the Gumby bench leader while at Arizona, worked on Curry’s shooting motion. He evaluated Curry’s release point, arm angle and foot position.

Jenkins writes, “In the middle of games, Curry would misfire and ask Fraser, ‘What’s wrong? What are you seeing?'”


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Fraser has a history of making the most of an opportunity as leader of the Gumbies, the lively, supportive bench of Arizona’s first Final Four team of 1987-88. Fraser was a graduate assistant that year. He began the tradition of lovable Arizona reserves as a senior in 1986-87. Despite his lack of playing time he became a fan favorite.

Lute Olson and his staff and players nicknamed Fraser “Q” for his propensity of asking a series of questions.

According to the SI article, Fraser is using what he learned to help Curry, former Arizona teammate Kerr and the Warriors form one of the best operations in the NBA.


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Excerpt from the Sports Illustrated article …
In Game 4, Curry took Fraser’s general advice and made a subtle mechanical tweak, extending the ball a little farther from his body as he raised it. “What I did was so slight, nobody would have noticed,” Curry says. “I don’t know if that was the key, but Bruce got me thinking, and that got me more locked into feeling my body.”

The article also mentions that Fraser relayed advice from a good friend by the name of Steve Nash to Curry during the season.

After retiring from the NBA, Nash said he did not plan to coach “though Fraser once did flip him a Golden State staff shirt,” the article states. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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