The curtains were drawn so no one could peek into the Hub 925 gym 20 miles east of Oracle Arena. Outside of a handful of select staffers in the room, no one knew about this secret workout in late August.
This was the day that Stephen Curry would train with Luka Doncic, perhaps the most hyped European prospect ever. There was no live stream on Instagram, no curated House of Highlights sizzle reel.
Doncic’s agent, Bill Duffy, wanted to keep it quiet. Only a small circle — maybe a dozen people — attended, but hardly anyone outside that Pleasanton, Calif., gym had a clue that the two-time MVP was going to work out with the Slovenian prodigy. It was so hush-hush that not even Mavericks owner Mark Cuban knew about it.
“For me, I just wanted him to be exposed to the excellence of Steph,” Duffy told NBCSports.com. “Not just Steph’s skill, but appreciating the work that goes into it.”
Curry had already scheduled a workout, led by his longtime trainer Brandon Payne of Accelerate Basketball, with high school phenom Jalen Green, who could be the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2020. After a call from Duffy, Payne made a slight change of plans.
Luka is going to be in town for a day or two. Can he join Steph for a workout?
Of course, Payne told him, but there was something Duffy thought Payne should know.
“Hey, you know, he’s never really worked out like this before,” Duffy told Payne over the phone. “All of this is going to be new to him. Be patient with him.”
As a teenager, Doncic had already dominated the pro leagues in Europe, earning both the EuroLeague MVP and ACB MVP in 2018, but he’d never worked out with a player of Curry’s caliber. He had done shooting sessions with shot guru Mike Penberthy, now with the New Orleans Pelicans. But nothing quite like what he was about to experience.