My favorite person in the sports world and quite possibly any celebrity in general, is Steph Curry.
For tons of reasons.
For starters, he is in many expert opinions, the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. He is quickly climbing the career list of made 3’s and is shooting them at a career rate of 44%, which is absolutely staggering. He is also a family man, with two young children and a beautiful wife who he met at church.
These are just some of the reasons I love Steph.
And I can remember the night it all started. Sitting in my friend’s basement, we had the tv on watching basketball because it was a Saturday night and we were just chilling. We could start to hear the announcer’s getting louder and louder, so we actually gave our attention to the television, and what we looked up at was something awesome:
This (relatively) small and skinny guy absolutely making it rain for 54 points on basketball’s biggest stage, Madison Square Garden in New York City. I had heard of Steph before, but I had never really paid close attention to him.
That was about to change.
That was my junior year of high school. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, and I’m deep into the obsession. I’m watching Steph every time he’s on television, I’m googling his stats before and after games, and I’m starting to get into r/nba, which is an offshoot on the site called Reddit, which makes it very easy to follow things you like, including sports. This was the year where I legitimately watched every game, from start to finish. This also happened to be Steph’s breakout year in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors had been knocked out of the playoffs in 7 games by the Los Angeles Clippers the year before, but they were ready to make a run.
And Steph came out on fire. Before a month into the season was up, he was leading MVP discussions. This was absolutely mesmerizing to me. My favorite player is now the talk of the league.
More months pass, and Steph is still leading the NBA in MVP buzz. His team, the Warriors, are leading the NBA with the best record. And there I was, fully engrossed into the NBA for the first time in my life.
*side tangent: now, I had watched the NBA prior to this. My first ever experience with professional basketball was turning it on in ’06 and watching Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat take down first the Detroit Pistons, and then the Dallas Mavericks to win a title with Shaq by his side. So I grew a little bit of an affinity for Wade, and a little affinity for the Heat. But this was nothing like my obsession with Steph. Anyway…
There I was, watching every game, even carving time out of my college social life to sit and watch basketball. I can even remember a night where I had 4 or 5 friends packed into my tiny dorm room to watch movies, and I was on the top bunk of our bed, headphones in, watching the Warriors play the Sacramento Kings. I remember that night because it was the night Klay Thompson, the starting Shooting Guard for the Warriors, dropped 37 points in a quarter, which was an NBA record.
Fast forward another couple months and the playoffs are beginning. I’m all the way invested. I’ve bought jerseys,
The NBA announces the MVP award right after the playoffs start. Or at least they did until this year. So here I am, watching Steph and the Warriors take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, and I hear them announce that it is final.
Steph Curry is the MVP of the NBA.
I watched the entire press conference, and re-watched it several times after that. His speech blew me away. This small guard from Davidson College who was lightly recruited out of high school is now the MVP of the NBA. His character is also right there, being a devout Christian and a family man, and one who knows exactly how to talk to the media without stirring up any trouble and still providing insightful knowledge.
And there I am being blown away by him game in and game out, always wanting to watch more.
It didn’t hurt that Steph and the Warriors also won the championship that year, taking down LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Nah, it didn’t hurt at all.
Sports are fun.