Bust. Overrated. Soft.
"That's all comedy," Curry said with a chuckle.
The Warriors superstar was laughing because he can recall experiencing such a period in his own career, albeit under a much smaller microscope.
Due to the high-profile nature of their fathers, both Curry and Ball have faced heightened expectations throughout their careers. Dell Curry is a 16-year NBA veteran who possessed one of the sweetest jumpers in the NBA. LaVar Ball is a flamboyant figure who has gone to astronomical lengths to talk up his sons.
So, while Curry said his father was active but low key in his development as a player, he also said he can "sort of relate" to what the Lakers rookie is going through right now.
"Early in my sophomore and junior years in high school, there was a little extra pressure because of who my dad was," Curry said, "and I felt like everybody was kind of critiquing my every move on the court, and I was already not getting recruited or anything. I was always playing to be recognized by coaches. So, I had pressure on myself anyway. Whenever you miss a shot, the crowd goes crazy, and only for your misses and nobody else's. The high school cheering sections going at me, and hounding me the whole game. Even in college, the same type of deal. It rubs you the wrong way a little bit. I had to go through those experiences.
"But at the end of the day, I taught myself how to have a sense of humor about it and understand that it kind of comes with the territory of choosing the same sport that my pops played, and dealing with it that way. [Lonzo] can't let what people say bother him.
"Use it as motivation."
Curry conceded that he still thrives off slights to this day, which might not bode well for Ball and the Lakers on Wednesday when they face the Warriors for the first time this season. In February, when Ball was still a freshman at UCLA, LaVar Ball stated that his son was better than the two-time NBA MVP.
Curry has been hesitant to address the elder Ball, largely because he knows how he would feel if a player took a verbal shot at his dad.
"I know what his pop said, but I want to be respectful," Curry told ESPN recently after pausing to find the right words. "At the end of the day, if my pop said something crazy, I would have to kind of think about it a certain type of way, but I don't know what I would do or how I'd react to it. I'm very sensitive to talking about someone's family. I don't want to disrespect anybody. His pop has a mic on him at all times, and so he says some things. I'll leave it at that."
But Curry, who sat out Monday's game against the Kings due to a right-hand injury, did acknowledge he will target Ball whenever they play. He said it's in his aggressive nature.
"When you're playing guys at my position every single night, that kind of just happens naturally when you're out on the court," he told ESPN. "It's the same way people try to go at me in the post or go at me in switch situations, that back and forth. That happens. And same with me, I want to know if a guy is real or not on the court. When it comes to personally or their background and all that type of stuff, that's when basketball becomes too serious. At the end of the day, we're all trying to accomplish the same goals. So, I don't need an extra edge in that department."
Curry's arrival isn't coming at the most opportune time for Ball. The new face of the Lakers is struggling to adapt to the pressures and scrutiny that have surfaced in large part because of his father's one-man promotional campaign. The No. 2 overall pick in last June's draft is rebounding (7.3 RPG) and distributing (7.1 APG) well, but his 8.7 PPG and 30.9 percent shooting have been disappointing.
Aside from criticisms stemming from his lack of production, Ball's shooting form -- an elongated motion that allows defenders time to recover for a contest or a block -- has also been constantly nit-picked and mocked.
Kevin Durant, who worked out with Ball over the summer a few times, told ESPN that Ball shouldn't change his shot.
"I played with Kevin Martin," Durant said. "Kevin Martin got his shot off and he shot it probably a little bit farther down from the hip than Lonzo does. If you're effective out there on the basketball court, you can have an unorthodox shot or movements or whatever. You can still be effective and play good. It's not just his shot, it's just the fact that he has to be confident in his shot, and I think that just comes with repetition."
"We're dissecting everything obviously," Curry said while shaking his head in disbelief.
Durant says Lonzo is playing like any other 19-year-old in the pros
Steph Curry criticizes people who urge Lonzo Ball to change the way he shoots the ball, while Kevin Durant puts the responsibility on coach Luke Walton for leading the young Lakers squad to success.
Curry credited his eight years of improvement in the NBA to repetition. Coming into the league as the seventh pick in the 2009 draft, he said no one outside his family, former Warriors GM Larry Riley and former Warriors head coach Don Nelson envisioned him being an All-Star or franchise player.
"If I can overcome the odds, [Lonzo] certainly can," he said, adding that "critics are a part of the game" and he still faces insults regularly even though he's prospering on the court.
Before the season started, Phoenix Suns rookie small forward Josh Jackson described Curry as "small and unathletic." While Jackson later clarified his definition of athletic, Curry had mixed feelings about the comment.
"That's another one I just took with a sense of humor," Curry said to ESPN. "For one, I had a slight soft spot for Josh because I know him well. He came to my camp. We wear the same [Under Armor] brand. I know him pretty well, so I know maybe his comments got misconstrued a little bit in his definition of athleticism. ... So, at the end of the day, we'll see what happens on the court. But, it comes with the territory. There's going to be stuff said about you. When you're at the top, when you win a championship, people are going to say something. It never stops. ...
"Now that I'm in the league and successful, the only talk I get is about my upbringing, per se," he said. "It's different from other NBA guys. And that's fine, because obviously, that's how I was raised, and I wouldn't trade it for nothing. We all had to work. There's nothing really given to me based on my dad being in the NBA. If it was, every NBA player's son would be in the NBA. It's kind of an extra motivation really, to just do what I do."
On Wednesday, Ball will in all likelihood get an up-close-and-personal schooling from Curry, who is looking forward to meeting and conversing with the rookie. But Curry said he has no plans to talk with LaVar Ball unless the opportunity presents itself. He was adamant that he doesn't hold any hostility toward the family, however, and wants Lonzo to reach his full potential.
"He just has to be himself," Curry said. "He'll eventually figure it out. This league is all about adjustments. I'm confident he'll prove people wrong in time."