There’s a popular misconception fans often have about NBA players and, really, all professional athletes. It’s the belief these titans of the court and field are also somehow supernatural human beings when the lights lower and they’re in their regular lives. There’s a feeling pro athletes should be above the foibles and growing pains the rest of us inherit simply by being sentient human beings. Never is this more apparent than when the Media Industrial Complex reports on a rookie smoking cannabis, or getting drunk and tweeting something stupid. It’s like we all forget these are young men, prone to the same insecurities and childish behavior we all went through at that age.
But the inverse of this is also true. When a player experiences a meteoric rise to fame, we expect the warts to stand out. To offer a more timely simile, it like a leading presidential candidate impressing in the primary before a national campaign uncovers all manner of skeletons. Stephen Curry is ground zero for this second belief.
Here’s a paraphrased timeline of Stephen Curry’s trajectory during his still-inchoate career. He went from a little-known son of a former NBA player to an NCAA Tournament darling; from a mid-major star to an injury-prone NBA rookie, one without the requisite height and strength to succeed at the next level; from an overpaid Golden State risk (four years and $44 million was thought — at the time — to be way too much for the dainty ankles of Steph), to a lethal shooter and All-Star; from a one-trick pony, to the 2015 NBA MVP and NBA champion. And those last two stops on the Stephen Curry star train happened within a relatively short period of time, too. So, you could forgive the scrawny kid from Charlotte a few bumps along the way.
Except, to this day, Steph remains as humble as he ever was.