Ever since the Warriors rose to contention in 2015, the NBA has not been the same. It’s no secret that a large part of these title runs has been due to the insane and unprecedented play from Stephen Curry. He has shot the ball, ran the point and crossed defenders, making it look easier than a walk in the park. All the while, he has inspired cool and collected poise from his teammates. Two championships later, his name has become synonymous with success and with the NBA. However, like many things in life, there is a lot more to the Golden Child of the NBA, Steph Curry, than what meets the eye.
Although the son of the 90s Charlotte Hornet All Star Dell Curry has spent enough time on the court and around the NBA to know how to behave, he has still had his share of mistakes, many of which get covered up by all the good he is done. In the end of the day though, the NBA has to treat its stars equally. So let’s take a view through the looking glass to see the fractures in the otherwise perfect NBA Super Star prototype, Stephen Curry!
15 He was doubted every step of the way, including college and NBA scouts!
The casual fan may not fully realize this, but the NBA’s own Chef Curry was shaping up to be more of a bus boy for a while. He was hardly scouted, and he only ended up in the lowly Davidson University arguably due to his father’s famous name. Once proving doubters wrong in the NCAA, he still had a huge uphill battle of injuries and poor scouting reports to beat once the Warriors selected him with the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Despite the inspiring and defying story of a thin-framed undersized kid taking the NBA by storm, the truth is that the NBA wants stars to be as appealing as possible. The league wants High School stand outs and College household names to thrive as much as possible in the Association. Curry still barely ever dunks, so this is an unorthodox case to say the least!
14 His wife Ayesha, has a lot to say on twitter!
Ayesha Curry has certainly taken advantage of her husband’s celebrity status, and parlayed it into her own culinary success as a chef and author. However, one thing she has done her share of that leaves the NBA and other fans remiss, is her ill-timed tweeting. Most famously, she ranted about the NBA being rigged after watching her husband throw a fit for foul calls on him in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals, a series the Warriors went on to lose. From a basketball figurehead as popular as she, it certainly was a faux pas to question the credibility of the refs and the league’s intentions. Nonetheless, Steph was ejected and Ayesha apologized publicly for the slip.
13 He failed miserably to hit a slew of half court shots to raise money for Cancer research
If there’s one thing Curry is known for, it’s his deep deep three point range. So when he was called on in street clothes during this year’s All Star festivities to hit half court shots to raise money for the late-Craig Sager’s Cancer Foundation, it seemed like a no-brainer, right? Wrong! Not only did Curry miss all of his barrage of half court attempts, he had to waive the white flag eventually in an attempt to save-face for the egregious no-show. Nonetheless, money was donated in good spirit, but it was certainly a let down amidst one of the hottest times for the NBA season.
12 He isn’t shy about getting political!
If there’s one thing the NBA doesn’t want or need, it’s star players getting involved in politics. Especially in these divisive times, most agree that the sports world should plead the fifth and allow sports to be the escape from the conflict. Curry however, has used his voice frequently over the past year, as he took a firm stance on Under Armour CEO's position on Donald Trump. In addition, he has also stated that he doesn't support this administration, and will not visit the White House after winning this championship. NBA Execs have to be sour about this, as it divides their community and blends two worlds that perhaps should keep their distance from one another.
11 He is the inspiration for a brand of heroin being sold on the streets!
There is good news and bad news here. The good? Steph Curry’s face is so recognizable that it is a brand in and of itself. The bad? Curry's branding has gone as far as being a ploy to sell more heroin in Philadelphia. Last year, Stephen Curry’s face was being manufactured illegally on bags that were used specifically to sell heroin on the streets. It is a sad truth, but the heroin epidemic in Philly had been climbing steadily, and Curry’s face was used as a weak attempt to promote a lethal product. While the NBA, fans and Curry’s constituents can’t be thrilled about this, there was little that they could do once the dealers had been detained by law officials without furthering their involvement in such an ugly headline.
10 He mocked another star athlete’s season ending, possibly career derailing, injury... in San Francisco!
This is one of the golden rules that pro athletes should respect more than anything: injuries are not to be taken lightly. Another golden rule? Stay loyal to the town you play for! So when Stephen Curry poked fun at the scary dirt bike injury suffered by San Francisco Giant ace Madison Bumgarner earlier this spring, he effectively broke both rules. Since then, the "MadBum" has shown promise that the injury wasn’t as serious as originally thought, but the truth is that at the time, it wasn’t such a clear picture. Curry throwing around jokes about serious matters may prove him to be a bit too loose lipped.
9 He Might Have Fueled the Kyrie/LeBron Feud
A video was released earlier this summer that made Stephen look like a real punk, where he was clearly mocking LeBron’s post-Finals social media video which featured the King dancing and showing off his newly shaved head. Curry clearly was mocking him at ex-teammate Harrison Barnes’ wedding, but what made matters worse is who was cracking up at the jest in the video: now ex-teammate of LeBron’s, Kyrie Irving. Although at the time the trade demand had already been made, Curry’s antics could very well have nixed any chance the duo had for repairing their relationship and making another Finals run. Clearly, Curry had not received the age-old message: don’t poke the bear. LeBron will most certainly be back with vengeance this season.
8 Exposed... by a little kid?
Look: every player will get blocked at times. It’s part of the game. But what happened last summer after brutally collapsing in the NBA Finals was a savage exposure on Stephen Curry that won’t be forgotten soon. The shocking moment came at the heels of Curry’s Under Armour Asia tour during a pick up came in Taiwan, when a 17 year old Filipino player brutally stuffed one of Curry’s signature last second three-ball attempts. While the moment will live on through the internet, the NBA will want fans to forget just how badly he was exposed. In the end though, at least the 17 year old who blocked the shot has a story for his grandkids!
7 Trouble in Paradise?
Klay Thompson kicked the summer off with a bang! No, literally. That bang was the hard clank of a botched dunk that went viral on the internet recently. While Klay will want the moment to be forgotten, Curry once again was quick to mock his teammate and highlight the moment through imitation. Although this could be seen as an innocuous joke, Klay trade rumors continue to swirl, and if he were to be traded, it would certainly be a moment that resurfaces as perhaps a telling sign of discord. While this may all be conjecture, Klay is considered by many to be the silent key to the Warriors’ success, and so Curry should be careful when playing with fire!
6 He made a fan switch shoes at half court at an event for wearing LeBron sneakers!
It is widely known that Curry is a devout Christian, and although he has shown to have clearly Christian morals, he certainly didn’t take the high road this summer when he discovered a participant in one of his camps to be wearing LeBron James’ signature sneakers. After the fan hit a half court shot, Curry disrupted his 15 minutes of fame in order to take the fans shoes off, and replace them with Curry’s own signature sneaker. The joke of course was taken in good stride, but the gesture alone shows that Curry knows how to hold on to a grudge, especially with King James.
5 He crashed a random house party and drank with 20 somethings this summer
If there is one thing the NBA definitely wants their Golden Boy doing, it’s relating to fans in any way possible...right? Well, maybe that rule isn’t so set in stone. Steph’s way of relating to fans came in the most unconventional of manners this summer, crashing a house party and chugging Bud Lights with the everyday partiers! That’s right! Joined by NBA swingman Kent Bazemore, the two got into some trouble around two in the morning after partying at ex-teammate Harrison Barnes’ wedding. With Bud Light all over his shirt, it was hardly a good look for the sharp shooting super star!
4 His tenure at the top may not be as long as we think...
No one will forget how unreal Curry’s 2015 campaign was. It’s like he was in a video game where only he had the cheat code. So it was no surprise that he was voted the unanimous MVP, the first in the NBA’s storied history. With the unprecedented play of both James Harden and Russell Westbrook, it was no surprise that this couldn’t repeat this past season, but the truth is he wasn’t even in the conversation. Flash back to when LeBron took his talents to South Beach, and you will see that Bron actually won the award three of the four seasons he was down there. So meshing Durant into Curry’s mix technically shouldn’t have been the problem. The inconvenient truth for the NBA is that at just 29 years old, it is hard to count on another MVP from Curry, especially with his teammate Kevin Durant being an even more likely candidate. He will be a top ten for many more years, but the truth is that the days of Curry dominating the MVP standings are over!
3 Like it or not, Curry double dribbled in that famous LeBron cross up this year in the Finals
No one wants to hear this, but Curry's crossover on LeBron in Game Two of this year’s NBA Finals was a huge double dribble. The refs missed it, most of the fans missed it, and perhaps the reason for that is because it was such a monumentally momentum shifting moment. With the Cavs on the ropes in a critical game two, the one-on-one scenario put the two faces of basketball up against one another. Ostensibly, the crossover was a defining moment where the crown had officially shifted places. But when you look a bit closer, it becomes painfully clear that the crossover was completely illegitimate. Curry flat out put two hands on the ball and then continued his dribble. That is a double dribble folks! The shake and bake and finishing the lay-up was no doubt impressive, but the first-step that his double dribble gave him on Bron is what allowed the entire thing to go down.
2 The 2016 Finals Melt Down
Most gave Curry a pass on this one, but from anyone but the NBA’s golden boy, Curry’s tantrum when the ref didn’t call it his way in the 2016 NBA Finals would be the ultimate black eye. After proving his poise in 2015 and throughout the entire 2016 regular season, Curry infamously threw his mouth piece leading to an ejection, all in the midst of an offensive break-down of epic proportions. Curry’s mouthpiece chewing went from being casually noted to viciously ridiculed, as it had become his weapon of aggression in a heartbeat. Not only did Curry lose his shooting touch, but he lost his composition on the biggest stage the NBA has during some of the most clutch minutes.
1 Curry Is Killing the Jordan Era!
It’s true. Some will see this as a very good thing, and others not as much, but the truth is that Stephen Curry has been the face of the 3-ball era which is currently dominating the NBA's offensive schematics, as well as been the catalyst to defining defensive schemes. From the rise of Jordan to the current tail-end of the LeBron era, the focus of the NBA game-plan was slashing do-it-all super stars who could be the face of a franchise through athleticism. Now, with Curry’s unpredictable three ball, that period may be nearly complete. Now, change is inevitable, but when the change leads to gun-slinging deep shooters that takes the shine away from the true athletes, the NBA has gotta be not thrilled to say the least!
Look: it’s obvious that Stephen Curry was and probably still is the, if not one of the faces of the NBA. Gone are the days however, that one can live a life without some interruption from social media. The truth is that even the good boy that Curry was imaged to be can’t be fully protected these days. His father Dell Curry famously called him out for needing to finish his chores around the house and highlighting his “no-TV on school nights” rule from growing up in Charlotte. Clearly, being brought up in the home of an NBA star gave Steph a leg up on the competition, but don’t forget one thing: he’s still human.