The careers of Tom Brady and Stephen Curry demonstrate how early rejection can fuel relentless pursuits of success.
The New England Patriots quarterback and Golden State Warriors guard probably never will compete in the same field, but that didn’t prevent film director Gotham Chopra from identifying common character traits the superstar athletes share. Chopra, who directed Facebook series “Tom vs Time” and “Stephen vs The Game,” explained in an interview with The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn published Friday how Brady and Curry overcame their unheralded starts in their respective professions through passion, focus and endless motivation.
“They’re very different, as a lot of these guys are, just in terms of personality and background,” Chopra said. “But there are definitely similarities that have contributed to the incredible success they have had — they’re detail-oriented, passionate about what they do, they are disciplined in terms of training, preparation and focus, almost maniacal, that sort of stuff that not all great athletes maintain.
The Patriots selected Brady with the 199th overall pick of 2000 NFL Draft. Curry’s path to greatness wasn’t necessarily predestined either, as he played three seasons at Davidson College before the Warriors selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Both were overlooked at various points in their amateur careers and have spent the last decade or two proving naysayers wrong and winning a combined nine NBA championships and Super Bowls.
“They turn doubt into fuel,” Chopra said. “They’ve both become institutions, but that gives them extra motivation. They don’t want to give up the mountaintop. (Warriors coach) Steve Kerr in one of the episodes talks about how maintaining greatness is way harder than achieving greatness because when you’re at the top everyone is coming at you, or teammates start fighting to share credit, or money becomes an issue. Managing all of that is harder than being the outsider or underdog trying to get that first chip.”
Whether Curry wins his fourth NBA championship next month or Brady claims Super Bowl No. 7 next year remains to be seen, but what’s certain is they’ll be as dedicated as ever to reaching their respective sports’ ultimate goal because that’s all they’ve ever done as professionals.
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