Stephen Curry could have easily demanded the ball in overtime and been petty towards LaVar Ball, Lonzo Ball, and his critics, but he’s above all of that.
Stephen Curry is probably the most disrespected player in the NBA right now. Guys with fewer accomplishments and less talent earn more praise. From fans to retired players to peers, Curry takes unnecessary shots from a lot of different places.
Curry takes it all, though. He doesn’t talk back. He doesn’t feel the need to defend himself with his words, opting to let his game do the talking instead.
The two-time MVP is secure enough in himself to let the chatter go. Instead of putting it in a rap song like Damian Lillard, speaking to every reporter in sight like John Wall, or being angry all the time like Russell Westbrook, he just hoops. So far, it’s worked for him.
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He’s won two Most Valuable Player awards. He has two championships. He’s the greatest shooter of all-time. He is the centerpiece of the greatest offense and, probably, entire team ever.
Curry has earned universal respect, whether you like him or not. Yet, he doesn’t demand it. He’s human, so it’s hard to imagine that the talk doesn’t bother him on some level. Still, he doesn’t fire back at any of his critics or naysayers.
Prior to the Golden State Warriors’ overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, Curry answered some questions about Lonzo Ball. Ball’s father, LaVar, famously stated that his son–who, at the time, was a freshman in college–was better than Curry. The Warriors’ star had nothing negative to say about the rookie. Instead, he tried to ease some of the concerns surrounding him by comparing his young career to the start of his own professional journey.
In the overtime period, Curry hit back-to-back threes to give the Warriors the lead. The next three possessions were a Draymond Green post up and two Kevin Durant isolations. The Warriors got five points from those possessions, which was nearly best-case scenario for the team.
Curry gladly set screens and floated to open spaces on plays where he wasn’t utilized. He didn’t seek a heat check, despite the fact that he is the greatest shooter ever and he was warming up. He let the game happen, deferring to Durant when he called his own number.
There aren’t many superstar players that would defer like that after making two big buckets like that down the stretch. It’s his team and he should get the ball when he wants. Still, he lets others take the lead for the sake of the greater good.
After the game, Curry, reportedly, met with LaVar Bell and exchanged words and hugs. He met the youngest Ball brother, LaMelo. He then had positive comments about Lonzo, saying that he’s going to have a great career.
Curry doesn’t owe anyone anything. He could be petty. He could be selfish. He’s not, though, and that’s part of what makes him so great.
He could have talked his trash. He could have ignored LaVar altogether. He could have thrown shade at Lonzo like other NBA players have. In overtime, he could have demanded the ball for another possession after knocking down the treys.
Curry is human, but he doesn’t allow some of the qualities the rest of us succumb to overtake him. Things like pettiness and vengeance don’t seem to really cross his mind. And, if they do, he doesn’t express them, which is more than I can say for most of us.
Steph Curry is better than all of us in that sense. Speaking for myself, he’s better at shooting a basketball than I am at literally anything in my life. His ability to focus on the task at hand and not get wrapped up in any extra drama or silliness is impressive.