Stephen Curry’s Life And Legacy Has Been Defined On The Court

Athletes | 10/15/19

After winning two NBA Most Valuable Player awards and three NBA Championships, it’s safe to say that Stephen Curry is one of the greatest players to ever grace the court. Although born from basketball royalty, Stephen always found himself as the undersized dark horse. Having to work twice as hard at his craft for half the respect, Curry eventually changed the game of professional basketball forever. This is the story of Stephen Curry and how he turned every bad shot he had into something great.

Stephen Isn’t Really His Name

stephen curry is actually named wardell
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Although he has been known as Stephen Curry seemingly his entire life, the NBA superstar’s real name is Wardell. He was named after his father, former NBA star Dell Curry. Those who are close to him still call him by his given name.

While in college, Curry found a wallet with $160 in it and reported it on a Davidson University community board with the name Wardell. He recalls, “I don’t think the kid knew it was me until he showed up at my door. He was like, ‘you lit up Maryland in the NCAA tournament’ and then asked for my autograph.”

His First Slam Dunk Was In College

stephen curry going up for a slam dunk
Ray Chavez/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images
Ray Chavez/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Standing 6’3″ means that Steph Curry isn’t known for his dunking prowess. More of a three-point shooter anyway, the star has never felt the urge to prove doubters of his dunking ability wrong. Still, when asked on Twitter in 2015 about whether he could dunk, Curry decided to respond.

Using the hashtag #AskSC30, one user wrote, “when was the first time you dunked?” Curry answered simply, “Freshman year at Davidson.” He has since dunked in regular-season NBA games with varying results.

Major College Programs Ignored Him

stephen curry wasn't recruited by colleges
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

As Stephen Curry prepared to go to college to play basketball he hit a major roadblock: there was zero interest from any Division I programs. When it came time for him to choose a school he had three offers – VCU, Winthrop, and Davidson.

Curry chose Davidson, where he became the face of the program. In his sophomore season at the school, the young star broke out big, leading Davidson to the Elite Eight portion of March Madness. After the season was over, he was nominated by the ESPYs as a “Breakthrough Athlete.”

The Number 30 Holds Special Meaning To Him

steph and father dell share the same number
Dennis Jerome Acosta/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images
Dennis Jerome Acosta/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wearing the number 30 holds a very special meaning to Stephen Curry. It was the same number his father wore, and just like the name they share, it’s only fitting Curry chose to follow suit.

On February 15, 2015, Steph honored Dell with a picture of the pair of them on Twitter. Both wore their NBA jerseys, and Steph wrote, “Thanks for passing the torch Pops! Cool moment with him in the Hornet Uni #FathertoSon.”

He Gets Fined By His Mother For Turnovers

stephen curry's mother watching
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In a sport as fast-paced as professional basketball, athletes can’t avoid turning the ball over. The key to success is limiting mistakes. When Stephen Curry fails to limit his mistakes on the court, he has to pay the piper, aka his mother.

When Curry commits more than three turnovers in a game, he pays up. For every turnover over his limit, his mother takes $100 from him. The most turnovers the star has ever committed in one match is 11, which was a nice $800 fine he had to pay.

He Has A Gift For Shooting Threes

stephen curry and the three point record
Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images
Jane Tyska/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

During the 2015-16 NBA season, Stephen Curry set the record for most three-point shots made in a season by sinking 402. He’s also the only player in NBA history to shoot and make more than 300 three-pointers in multiple seasons.

Of course, Curry’s gift for long-range bombs didn’t magically appear after he was drafted by the Warriors. While at Davidson he set the NCAA record for three-pointers made in a season, draining 162 long buckets his sophomore season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves Passed On Curry (Twice)

minnesota passed on drafting stephen curry
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors selected Stephen Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. That year, the Minnesota Timberwolves were lucky enough to have the fifth and sixth picks in the draft, which they used on point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn.

Do you know what position Curry plays? If you said point guard then you can see the major mistake the T-Wolves made. Rubio now plays for the Phoenix Suns while Flynn last played in the NBA in 2013.

He Broke His Three-Point Record In Back-To-Back Seasons

stephen curry has broken the three point record several times
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Before Stephen Curry knocked in 402 three-pointers in one season, no player had ever made more than 300. The year before he destroyed the record the most made in a season was 286. That number had been set by Curry the season before.

Want an even crazier stat? Stephen Curry owns three of the top five three-point shooting seasons of all-time. And if it wasn’t for James Harden’s 2018-19 season (378 threes), Curry would be the only player to ever make more than 300.

There Is One Record Curry Doesn’t Hold

klay thompson three record
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

On November 8th, 2016 Stephen Curry set the single-game record for threes made with 13. That record stood for just under two years and was broken by someone very close to him – Klay Thompson.

As Thompson overtook the record in 2018, Curry cheered him along, pushing him to make history of his own. After all, when you’re as accomplished as Curry is, there’s no reason to be selfish too. It’s just not in his nature.

Curry Supports Several Charities

stephen curry supports several charities
Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images
Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images

Throughout his career, Stephen Curry has always made sure to stay humble and to give back. Early in his career, he began supporting Nothing But Nets, a charity that supplies mosquito nets to under-served countries to help protect children from Malaria.

In the United States he started his own charity, Eat. Learn. Play., to help fight childhood hunger in the San Francisco Bay Area. Overall, he supports and helps fund six charitable foundations.

He Has A Huge Passion For Golf

stephen curry is an avid golfer
Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
Chris Condon/PGA TOUR

If Stephen Curry had not made it as an NBA player, his fall back career might have been golf. He has a huge passion for the sport and participates in celebrity tournaments whenever he can.

Curry’s passion for the links is so great that he even convinced Under Armour to start a golf apparel line with his name on it. The company already has an extensive sponsorship deal with him, so expanding his brand beyond basketball made sense for both parties.

No One Shoots Threes At A Faster Pace

stephen curry is outpacing the competition
Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

It took Stephen Curry 369 games to reach 1,000 three-point shots made. No player in NBA history had done it in that little amount of games. In fact, no one even came close. Curry smashed the record by 88 games.

Over the course of his career, Curry has attempted nearly 6,000 three point-shots and has made 43 percent of them. Just over a decade into his career, Curry has the third most three-pointers in league history. By the end of his next full season, he should stand firmly in second place over Reggie Miller.

His First Date With Ayesha Curry Happened On Hollywood Boulevard

stephen and ayesha curry pose for a photo
Steve Jennings/Getty Images
Steve Jennings/Getty Images

One of Stephen Curry’s most endearing qualities is his seemingly perfect marriage to his wife, Ayesha. The two have been married since 2011 and before that started their romance in literally the most Hollywood way possible.

Speaking to Ask Men, Curry said, “We went to Hollywood Boulevard in LA. She was living there at the time and I was visiting. She picked me up in her Astro Van. We drove around Hollywood Blvd and took a picture with the Marilyn Monroe statue that was on the Walk of Fame, had some chai tea lattes and did some sightseeing and it went from there.”

He’s Played Basketball His Whole Life

stephen curry always played basketball
Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images
Chris Keane/Icon SMI/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

Perhaps this is obvious to state, but Stephen Curry has played basketball his entire life. He was introduced to the sport at a very young age. According to one account from a Facebook question and answer session, he was five-years-old when he first started playing.

When Curry gave his MVP acceptance speech in 2015, however, he said he started dribbling at two-years-old and never stopped. Now in his 30s, Curry loves the sport he was raised on more than ever and is sharing that love with his two young daughters.

This Is Who He Wants To Play Him In A Movie

stephen curry wants denzel washington to play him
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If there was ever a movie made about Stephen Curry’s life, he would want Denzel Washington to play him. Washington is twice Curry’s age, but anything is possible with visual effects these days. Curry admitted his dream casting jokingly during the Facebook question and answer session.

For his part, Washington wouldn’t have to do a lot of research to learn what life as a basketball player is like. While attending college at Fordham University, he played the guard position under head coach P.J. Carlesimo.

Rory McIlroy Is His Favorite Non-NBA Athlete

steph curry loves rory mcilroy
Mark Runnacles/Getty Images
Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Stephen Curry once revealed that if he could switch lives with any other athlete in the world it would be Rory McIlroy. The golf star has won three of four major championships and has a rumored $200 million sponsorship deal with Nike.

McIlroy, unfortunately, might not have as much admiration for Curry. During the 2019 NBA Finals when the Warriors played the Toronto Raptors, McIlroy was spotted wearing a Kyle Lowry jersey while pumping up the Canadian fans at the RBC Canadian Open.

Dell Curry Was Not Steph’s Favorite Player Growing Up

muggsey bogues and stephen curry
Al Bello /Allsport
Al Bello /Allsport

You would think that growing up in a basketball family Stephen Curry’s favorite player would be his father. It was not, instead, the young man gravitated towards Dell’s teammate Muggsy Bogues, an undersized player who had a fire that was impossible to put out.

Bogues played professional basketball from 1987 until 2001. He played alongside Dell Curry in Charlotte from 1988 until 1997 when he was traded to the Golden State Warriors. He ended his career after two seasons with the Toronto Raptors.

He Has A Sensitive Side When It Comes To Movies

steph-curry-daughters-695378952
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Getting out his anger on the court means that Stephen Curry likes to find other ways to relax when he gets home. One of those ways is to turn on a romantic drama and cuddle up with the Ayesha.

In an interview with ESPNW, Curry revealed this softer side of his personality and admitted that two of his favorite movies are The Princess Diaries and A Walk To Remember. Asked what his favorite basketball movie during another interview he said, “I’m a little soft. Probably Love and Basketball.”

He Got The Entire Warriors Team Carded At CPK

GettyImages-1172454614
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Even in his 30s Stephen Curry looks baby-faced. During his rookie season in 2010, his very young features ending up nearly getting him kicked out of a California Pizza Kitchen in Salt Lake City.

The young player was with the entire Warriors’ team getting food after a movie when the bartender carded Curry, then carded everyone else. Curry, entertained by the situation, tweeted out the experience instantly. Moments later the bartender came up to him with a phone call from a fan!

His Senior Thesis Was Going To Be About Athletes And Tattoos

GettyImages-1172416438
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Although Stephen Curry opted out of his senior year at Davidson to declare for the NBA Draft, he had ideas about what his final thesis was going to be. Curry wanted to write about the relationship between athletes and tattoos.

While initially preparing for his thesis, Curry asked a handful of players about it. Many of the NBA stars he was able to speak to said that if they were not playing professional basketball they would not have gotten as many for fear of becoming unemployable.