Michael Porter Jr. is a year — maybe two, if Missouri fans really want to dream — from jumping to the NBA, but he’s already pals with several players.
He was invited to a Los Angeles Clippers game recently by three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford and can text 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant whenever he feels like it.
But the NBA superstar Porter Jr. is closest with is two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
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“We talk every month on the phone, and I really enjoyed talking to him …,” Porter Jr. said. “He’s real down to earth. He’s super personable and doesn’t try to big-time anybody. He takes his time to talk to everybody, so I really enjoy that about him. He’s just a regular guy, so we just hit it off immediately.”
Porter Jr. met Curry at his annual guard camp a few years ago.
“After the camp, we exchanged phone numbers,” Porter Jr. said. “We stayed in touch. Then I went back another year and we got even closer. This past summer, I went to the Bay Area and hung out with him and worked out with him two days in a row. I went over to his house, so I’m real close with him. He's a great mentor.”
Curry has provided tips for Porter Jr. to improve his ball-handlingm, and Porter Jr. said he’s the best player he has matched up with on the court.
“Definitely, the best player I’ve ever played against has got to be Steph Curry,” Porter Jr. said. “We played one-on-one and he couldn’t guard me. He’s too little, but he's the best player I ever played against.”
Curry is a 6-foot-3, three-point machine, while Porter Jr. is a 6-foot-10 small forward with enviable range and skill.
“We were playing King of the Hill and he only shot on me twice because after that I got on a roll and I didn’t come off the court. He missed those shots, so ... what can I say?” Porter Jr. said with a laugh.