Right now, there aren’t too many bigger name in the NBA than Steph Curry. His Golden State Warriors have won two out of the last three NBA championships, beating LeBron James in the process. Even though he has numerous All-Star teammates, a lot of the Warriors impressive performances are powered by Curry and his ridiculous shooting. He was the back-to-back MVP in 2015 and 2016, and was in the conversation for the 2017 award. There is now a strong case that Curry has supplanted LeBron as the best player in the league, something no one would have predicted a few years ago. Despite his astonishing talent, Curry is appears humble and is not your typical superstar. Here are 10 things you may not have known about one of the NBA’s biggest stars.
10. He Attended Davidson and Only Received Scholarships From Small Schools
It is difficult to imagine that Steph Curry was once not thought of as one of the top prospects in the country. This was the case, however. After leading his high school team to three conference titles and three state playoff appearances, he was only offered scholarships from small schools (Davidson, VCU, and Winthrop). This is largely due to Steph being just 6’0″ and 160 pounds at the time (he is now 6’3″ and 190). He opted for Davidson, and in his freshman year he finished second in scoring (behind Kevin Durant). Next season, he pushed Davidson to their first NCAA tournament match victory since 1969 in a 40 point performance, and this spurred them to a wild run where they reached the Elite 8 but fell to the eventual champions, the Kansas Jayhawks. In his third and final year, Curry averaged 28.6 PPG, 5.6 APG, 4.4 RPG and 2.5 SPG.
9. He Was the 7th Pick in the 2009 Draft
As the best player in the league right now and perhaps the greatest shooter of all time, you would think he would have been one of the top picks in the draft. Although hardly a low pick, Curry was passed over six times and selected with the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Elite players Blake Griffin and James Harden went ahead of him, as well as Hasheem Thabeet, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, and Jonny Flynn. Curry did not waste time proving these other teams wrong, and he finished second behind Tyreke Evans for Rookie of the Year with averages of 17.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.9 APG and 1.9 SPG. He also notched an impressive triple-double that year, which included pouring in 36 points. It is interesting to think how the league, and his career, would be different if he was drafted higher.
8. He Met His Wife When He Was Just 15-Years-Old
During Golden State’s astonishing playoff runs in the past few seasons, there was an enormous focus on Curry’s family watching on in the stands. Although many were admiring Steph’s daughter, they also turned their attention to his wife, Ayesha Alexander, whom he married in 2011. The couple first met when Steph was just 15-years-old, while both were attending a church group (he is a devout Christian). Although Steph may have been putting up astonishing numbers and shattering records, it was his daughter, Riley, that was the star of the 2015 playoffs. Her adorable actions during the press conferences captured the hearts of NBA fans around the world, and that summer Ayesha gave birth to their second daughter, Ryan. It is fitting that one of the NBA’s best and most likable players has a fantastic family with his childhood sweetheart.
7. He Is Part of a Very Talented Family
Although Steph is currently one of the best and most talked about athletes on the planet, he isn’t the only Curry that is very talented. Most people know that his father, Dell Curry, is an ex-NBA player who retired as the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time leader in points and three-point field goals and is a former Sixth Man of the Year, but this is not all. His younger brother, Seth Curry, is also a professional basketball player who, after a few D-League and short NBA stints, is now playing for the Dallas Mavericks. The talent does not just lie with the male side of the family either, as Steph’s mom, Sonya, played college volleyball at Virginia Tech (where she met Dell), whilst his younger sister, Sydel, plays college volleyball at Elon University. The apple clearly doesn’t fall far from the tree.
6. He Is Also an Excellent Golfer
It is not just on the hardwood where Curry excels, as he is also a talented golfer. Accuracy is clearly not an issue regardless of the sport, as he regularly impresses at celebrity golf tournaments and even shot a 76 whilst golfing with President Obama (and it hurt his handicap). He played three years at high school, and his father thinks that he would have been able to go pro had his basketball career never have taken off. Dell stated that “if Steph got a golf coach and practiced and put in time like he does in basketball, he could play. He’s really good. He’s that good. He doesn’t miss a lot of shots, and when he does, he can recover. He thinks he can make any putt he stands over.” Apparently, he is also an excellent bowler too. Some people have to have it all.
5. He Surpassed His Dad on the All-Time 3-Point FG list
It is common knowledge that Steph’s father, Dell Curry, is one of the great three-point shooters. On November 14, 2015, in a victory over the Nets, Steph passed his father on the all-time three-point list with his 1,246th make. What is astonishing about this is that it took Dell 1,082 games to reach this, whilst Steph has reached this in just 427 career games, while shooting 44%. At the time of writing, Steph is tenth on the list, but being 29-years-old and in the prime of his career, Ray Allen’s almost impossible record of 2,973 looks set to topple in a few years. At the end of the 2016-17 season, Curry has 1,917 made threes. That’s an average of 239.6 triples per season, meaning he should pass Allen in about 4.5 more seasons, is he stays healthy. Speaking about surpassing his father, Steph said “It’s a pretty special moment for my family. I’m sure he never dreamt of the day one of his sons would pass him.”
4. His Mom Fines Him $100 Per Turnover If He Commits Over Three Turnovers
No matter how successful you become, you’re mom will always keep you grounded. A few years ago, after watching her son commit too many turnovers in a game, Sonya and her son came to a deal where he has to pay her $100 per turnover if he commits at least three turnovers in a game. At the end of the season, she cashes in and she hands him a list of fashion items. Now this may not be a huge amount to someone earning over $11 million a year, but he has admitted that it does have an impact on his play—“it keeps me on edge every game. I know she’s going to text me or have some witty one-liner about what she’s going to buy with all my gifts.” While Steph is averaging 3.2 turnovers per game for his career so far, there are many more high profile players that could do with this arrangement. *Cough, Russell Westbrook.*
3. For Each 3-Pointer He Makes, He Donates Three Mosquito Nets to an Anti-Malaria Campaign
For the past few seasons, Curry has donated three insecticide-treated mosquito nets for each triple he makes during a game. This is for the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign, and in 2013 the Warriors superstar spent his summer vacation time in Tanzania to hang nets himself in mud huts. He stated “one whole neighborhood is covered now here thanks to Madison Square Garden. The Knicks covered Block 9, Street 11. I hope they know that.” Having twice set the record for threes made in a season, that is a lot of nets. It is a campaign close to his heart, as he has been active with malaria issues since attending Davidson. This is particularly refreshing to see in a world where star athletes and celebrities are so often out of touch with the issues impacting the globe.
2. He’s Set All Kinds of Three-Point Records Already
Although his incredible three-point shooting has already been discussed, it has to be brought up again since it is so staggering. In his MVP campaign in 2014-15, Steph eclipsed his own record of 272 makes in the season, and would finish the campaign with a whopping 286. He carried this astonishing form into the playoffs, where he broke Reggie Miller’s record of 58 threes (in 22 games) in just 13 games. He obliterated this record on the way to the NBA title, finishing with a breathtaking 98 makes in only 21 games. Single handily re-writing the record books. The following season, he drained a ridiculous 402, smashing his own record to bits. Surely he is the greatest three-point shooter of all-time? Sorry, Reggie and Ray. It is also important to note that Curry is much, much more than a three-point shooter and excels in almost every area of the game, with excellent dribbling and passing skills.
1. He’s Not Even Close to The Highest Paid Player on the Warriors’ Roster
Before Kevin Durant arrived on the scene (and arguably even afterwards), Steph Curry was the best player on the team and a quick look at his stats is enough to prove this (let alone the back-to-back MVP awards. Despite quite obviously being the star of the team, there are three players that are have a higher salary than his. These are Klay Thompson ($16.6 million), Draymond Green ($15.3 million), and Kevin Durant ($26.5 million). In previous seasons, even Andrew Bogut ($12 million) and Andre Iguodala ($11.7 million) made more than Curry. Curry did get a small raise recently, and earned $12.1 in 2016-17, which amounts to less than half of what LeBron earns. It appears that money is not the key factor for Curry and he instead wants to win by being surrounded by talent (plus he will pull in a huge amount from endorsements), but the former MVP is being severely underpaid (by NBA standards).