Who Is Stephen Curry?
Stephen Curry is a professional American basketball player with the Golden State Warriors. The son of former NBA player Dell Curry, Stephen first garnered national attention for his impressive play at Davidson College. He was drafted in 2009 by Golden State and eventually developed into one of pro basketball's top players with his stellar shooting skills. After garnering Most Valuable Player honors and helping the Warriors win the NBA championship in 2015, Curry led the team to a league-record 73 wins the following season. In May 2016, Curry became the first person to be named MVP by unanimous vote in NBA history, and one of only 11 players to win the MVP award two years in a row. He then helped the Warriors win the NBA title again in 2017 and 2018, both times over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Early Life and Family
Stephen Curry was born Wardell Stephen Curry II in Akron, Ohio on March 14, 1988, but mainly grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. The oldest son of former NBA player Dell Curry, Curry learned the fundamentals of basketball by watching and practicing with his father. However, it was mom Sonya, a former Division I volleyball star, who instilled the discipline to train in her son while Dell Sr. was with his team on road trips.
Curry has two siblings. His younger brother, Seth Curry, went on to a career in professional basketball after starring at Duke University. Stephen’s sister Sydel became a volleyball player at Elon University.
College Career and NBA Draft
Lightly recruited by major college basketball programs despite a standout career at Charlotte Christian School, Curry enrolled at tiny Davidson College near his hometown. He immediately showcased his skills by scoring 32 points against the University of Michigan in his second game and wound up earning Southern Conference freshman of the year honors.
"Make it work no matter what you have to work with – that’s something that stuck with me very early on as a point guard. Adjust. Get creative. Try a different angle, a different lane, a different move or a different shot – just make it work." - Stephen Curry
Curry became a national star in March of his sophomore year when he carried the Wildcats to a berth in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament with a series of high-scoring performances.
After leading the nation with an average of 28.6 points per game as a college junior in 2009, Curry was selected with the seventh pick of the NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors.
Despite his slight frame and boyish looks, Curry proved more than capable of handling the NBA opposition with his shooting and ball-handling abilities. As a guard, he averaged more than 22 points per game after the 2010 All-Star break and wound up finishing second in the Rookie of the Year balloting. His impressive play earned him a spot on the USA Men's Basketball Senior National Team, which won the gold medal at the 2010 World Championships.
Curry sustained a sprained ankle while practicing with the national team, an injury that lingered for the following two seasons.
A return to full health allowed him to regain his dazzling form in 2012-13, and Curry responded by setting an NBA record with 272 three-pointers. Named the Western Conference Player of the Month in April, he followed by leading the Warriors to an upset against the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.
After earning his first All-Star nod in 2014, Curry reached new levels of performance and popularity the following season. As one half of the "Splash Brothers" duo, which also featured sharpshooting guard Klay Thompson, Curry led an exciting Warriors team to an early 16-game win streak and was the leading vote-getter for the 2015 All-Star Game.
Curry capped a memorable season by helping the Warriors knock off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, giving the team its first championship since 1975.
For an encore, Curry helped the Warriors to 24 consecutive wins out of the starting gate in the 2015-16 season, a torrid pace that propelled the team to an NBA-record 73 wins. The superstar guard again demonstrated his unparalleled skills throughout the season, finishing with an astounding 402 three-pointers and league-high 30.1 points per game.
Despite his accomplishments, Curry knew that the personal and team records would be for naught if Golden State couldn't repeat as champions. The Warriors were put to the test when Curry suffered ankle and knee injuries early in the playoffs, but he returned to score a record 17 overtime points in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, before sparking a comeback win in the following round over the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, his quest for a second straight title fell just short when a long season came to a close with a 93-89 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
In 2017, Curry helped lead the Warriors to a Finals matchup with James and the Cavaliers once again. In Game 5, Curry scored 34 points and teammate Kevin Durant added another 39 points in a 129-120 victory, for the Warriors' second NBA championship in three years.
The victory was sweet and long-awaited for Curry. After the Warriors' 2016 loss, he had asked a friend to save a cigar for him so he could smoke it when the team won back the title. Curry lit up his cigar live on NBA TV. "I've been waiting a whole year to smoke this," Curry said.
Expected to contend for the title with his teammates again in 2018, Curry instead encountered a setback by way of an MCL sprain late in the regular season, his absence leaving the Warriors on shakier ground heading into the playoffs. But the superstar guard returned in the second round to finish off the New Orleans Pelicans and then helped put away the top-seeded Houston Rockets for the Western Conference crown.
Game 1 of the fourth straight Warriors-Cavaliers Finals went down to the wire before Curry helped his team pull away in overtime with a game-high 33 points. Three games later, the veteran guard again topped the field with 37 points as the Warriors finished off the sweep to claim their third NBA title in four years.
In 2015, Curry set a new record with 286 three-pointers and led the league in steals, an impressive all-around display that garnered him the Most Valuable Player Award.
In May 2016, Curry became the first person to be named Most Valuable Player by unanimous vote in NBA history, and one of only 11 players to win the MVP award two years in a row.
"I never really set out to change the game. I never thought that would happen in my career," Curry said after receiving the MVP honor. "What I wanted to do was just be myself. ... I know it inspires a lot of the next generation, a lot of people who love the game of basketball to value the skill of it, value the fact that you can work every single day to get better. You've got to be able to put the time and the work. That's how I got here, that's how I continue to get better every single day."
New Arena, New Era
Although Curry enjoyed a stellar 2018-19 campaign with an average of 27.3 points per game, there were signs of turmoil within the NBA's reigning dynasty. Golden State still managed to advance to the 2019 NBA Finals, though Curry was unable to lift his team in the wake of injuries to Durant and Thompson, and the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors in six games.
Having bid farewell to Durant in free agency, the Warriors prepared to start a new chapter in 2019-20 with the move to the Chase Center in San Francisco. However, the team's hopes of competing suffered a serious blow when Curry broke his hand just four games into the season, an injury that knocked him out of action until early March 2020.
Stephen Curry’s Career Stats
According to the NBA, at of the end of the 2018-19 regular season, Curry’s career stats are:
- 34.4 minutes per game
- 47.7 field goal percentage
- 43.6 3-point percentage
- 90.5 free-throw percentage
- 23.5 points per game
- 4.5 rebounds per game
- 6.6 assists per game
- 0.2 blocks per game
Stephen Curry’s Salary and Contract
In 2012, Curry signed a four-year contract extension with the Golden State Warriors. Curry’s $12.1 yearly salary made him just the 85th-highest paid NBA player in the 2016-17 season, despite his two-time MVP status. However, in June 2017, Curry made up for his previous bargain rate and then some by signing the NBA’s highest-paid contract ever: a $201 million salary over five years that will take him through the 2020-21 season.
Curry has signed endorsement deals with Under Armour, JPMorgan Chase, Brita, Vivo and PressPlay.
Production Company and Sony Deal
In April 2018, it was announced that Curry's newly formed production company, Unanimous Media, had signed a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment. The arrangement gives Sony first-look rights at Unanimous' film and TV projects, which reportedly will focus on faith, family and sports-related content.
"I've been blessed to have this platform and I want to use it to affect the world positively," said Curry said in a statement. "Partnering with Sony to share inspiring content with a global audience was a foregone conclusion."
Since his time as a student at Davidson, Curry has been involved with the United Nations Foundation Nothing But Nets campaign, which distributes insecticide-treated mosquito nets across Africa to help combat malaria. The NBA star also raises resources for schools through the Stephen Curry Foundation and annually hosts a pair of charity golf events.
Wife and Children
Curry married his college sweetheart, Ayesha Alexander, on July 30, 2011. Born on March 23, 1989, in Toronto, Canada, Ayesha Curry is an entrepreneur and former actress known for the HBO series Ballers and as the host of Ayesha's Home Kitchen on the Food Network.
The Currys have two daughters. On July 19, 2012, they welcomed their first, named Riley. Their second daughter, Ryan, was born on July 10, 2015. Three years later on July 4, 2018, Ayesha gave birth to their first son, Canon W. Jack.
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