Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez, The Chronicle
This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
Stephen Curry is a superstar. Over his four-year career with the Golden State Warriors, he has accomplished a lot. He was the runner-up for the 2009-2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He was a First Team All-Rookie selection. He won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge at the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2011. He was a Gold Medalist at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey. He had a 54-point game. He made the most three-point field goals (272) in a single season in NBA history, and he should’ve been an All-Star last season.
Despite all of these incredible accomplishments, Curry means much more to this Warriors team than just being their best player. Curry is exactly the type of player an organization would want representing their team. He’s respectful, grateful, humble, friendly, and classy. He’s just a genuinely good person, and he hasn’t changed who he is as a person or how he conducts himself on the court, despite his newfound fame.
Off the court, Curry is extremely giving and generous. He has done a lot of charity work since entering the NBA. First of all, he is a National Spokesperson for ThanksUSA and holds an charity golf tournament to support the organization.
Also, Curry and his father, Dell, hold a summer basketball camp for children and their parents. Steph and Dell also run the Curry Celebrity Classic, a charity golf tournament that supports the Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson, NC.
In addition, Curry recently became the North American brand ambassador for the children’s basketball e-book series, The Dream Ten.
“I really think it’s a great series,” Curry said about The Dream Ten. “…I think the messages are equally important: work hard, stay positive, and believe in yourself. These are the kind of values I’ve always believed in. Kids are going to love it.”
Curry also held a Three for Three Challenge this past season with the organization Nothing But Nets, which meant he donated three life-saving bed nets for every three-pointer he made. This was a great season for Curry to run this challenge, given that he set an NBA record with 272 three-pointers. Curry recently went to Tanzania to visit refugee camps and distribute the bed nets.
“You just try to use the platform the best way you can,” Curry said about his involvement with Nothing But Nets. “A lot of people who watch our games may not be as aware of the problem of malaria and how preventable it is.”
(photo: Stuart Ramson/U.N. Foundation)
Not only does Curry represent the Warriors perfectly off the court, but he is the face of the franchise and a symbol of new beginnings. He gives this loyal Warriors’ fanbase hope. The future is bright for the Warriors, and, make no mistake, the culture has changed.
The Warriors have become a legitimate force in the Western Conference because of their “never give up” attitude, their exciting style of play, and because of the emergence of Curry as a superstar. He played at an All-Star caliber level all last season and is, arguably, one of the best point guards in the NBA. Also, with Monta Ellis not on the team anymore, Curry became more of a leader and more of a vocal presence on the team this past season.
After his spectacular 31 point and seven assist performance in Game 4 against the Denver Nuggets, Mark Jackson claimed that Curry’s performance alone didn’t make him a superstar. In fact, Jackson claimed he already was one because of his leadership and character.
“He’s a guy you point to as an example when you raise kids,” Jackson said. “It could not have happened to a better guy.”
Curry has sacrificed a lot as well. He plays hard and gives everything he can for the Warriors every night. Curry averaged 38.2 minutes per game in 78 games this past season, which ranked as the seventh most minutes per game in the NBA during the regular season. Especially after having two ankle surgeries on his right ankle in the past two offseasons, it’s truly incredible that Curry was able to play in 90 total games last season. Curry is a lot tougher than people give him credit for, and that’s a quality that fans appreciate.
Most importantly, Curry loves being a Warrior. For Warriors fans, the feeling is mutual. The fans worship him for his play and his character. Luckily for the fans, Curry wants to be a Warrior for a long time too.
“No offense to New York, but I’m so, so happy I didn’t fall to them in the draft,” Curry said. “No matter what they do with the new arena, they better not change the dynamics of the fanbase. If we have the same fans, in this new place…man, I’d want to play here forever. Wouldn’t you?”
The Warriors would be extremely lucky to have a player and a person like Curry representing them for many years to come. The Warriors are building around Curry, and if he does in fact play with them for this whole career, they will most certainly find lots of success.
Curry is a special player and a special person. He plays for the love of the game, not the fame. He’s committed to the Warriors and their fans, and he represents the future of the franchise. Steph Curry is a superstar on and off the court.