Stephen Curry is normal.
Normal is the highest praise you can give a professional athlete. Normal is hard to find in the NBA.
Greatness is not. Greatness is easy to spot. We know how great Curry is. But his on-court dominance isn’t the only thing that makes him unique in his world. Other players take over games — you know who they are. Very few act like Curry.
After practice, Curry sits on a stool next to the court as dozens of media members cluster around him. He never puts himself above anyone, literally and figuratively. He carries himself like a maitre d’ at Chez Panisse who kneels next to you out of respect when he takes your drink order.
Curry answers questions until reporters run out of them. His press conferences typically last longer than 10 minutes. And he answers all types of questions — good ones, bad ones, pointed ones, softball ones, informed ones, insane ones — and he answers with the same level of generosity and thoughtfulness every time.
He looks you in the eye, thinks before he responds and takes pride in his answers. Never seems stingy or rude. Never takes a tough question personally. Never acts like a celebrity. He acts like your favorite neighbor who’ll lend you the electric drill in a heartbeat.
Curry should not be this normal. He grew up the wealthy son of a former NBA player, Dell Curry. Steph had every advantage as a child. You and I cannot relate to his upbringing, and neither can most of his millionaire teammates who grew up poor or working class. And yet, Curry is the most down-to-earth star in American sports.
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