Stephen Curry Essay

Stephen Curry, in full Wardell Stephen Curry II, byname Steph, (born March 14, 1988, Akron, Ohio, U.S.), American professional basketball player who led the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to championships in 2014–15 and 2016–17 and to the best regular-season record in league history (73–9) in 2015–16.

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Curry grew up immersed in basketball as the son of 16-year NBA veteran sharpshooter Dell Curry. The younger Curry learned the intricacies of the game from his father. His keen shooting and high “basketball IQ” were not enough to persuade college coaches to overlook his wiry frame and unremarkable 6-foot (1.8-metre) height. He did not receive scholarship offers from major college basketball programs and attended Davidson (North Carolina) College, which had an enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students. He quickly made his mark, however, averaging 21.5 points per game as a freshman to lead all first-year players in the country. Curry became a national sensation during his sophomore season, when he led 10th-seeded Davidson on an improbable run to the Elite Eight of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s top-division basketball championship tournament in a performance that featured what would soon be recognized as his signature shot: a three-pointer from well outside the line. His junior season did not feature any such postseason heroics, but his average of 28.6 points per game led the country, and he was named a consensus first-team All-American. He then entered the 2009 NBA draft, in which he was selected by the Warriors with the seventh overall pick.

Curry made an immediate impact with the Warriors, becoming the team’s starting point guard and averaging 17.5 points per game in his first season. A series of ankle sprains led to Curry’s playing just 26 games in the 2011–12 season, and he underwent off-season ligament surgery. He then signed a modest four-year $44 million contract extension that allowed Golden State to surround its budding star with other talented players. Curry led the league in three-pointers made (272) in 2012–13. The following season he repeated that feat (with 261) and earned his first All-Star selection. In 2014–15 he made a then-record 286 three-pointers while leading the Warriors to an NBA-best 67–15 record and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). In the following postseason, Curry propelled the Warriors to the franchise’s first title in 40 years over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Curry led his team to even greater heights in 2015–16, as Golden State bested the 1995–96 Chicago Bulls’ 72–10 regular-season record by one additional victory. He also topped the NBA with an average of 30.1 points per game and shattered his own league standard by making an astounding 402 three-point shots. Curry earned his second consecutive MVP award for his efforts and became the first person to be voted MVP unanimously. However, the Warriors’ historic season ultimately ended in shocking disappointment as the team surrendered a 3–1 NBA finals lead to the Cavaliers.

In 2016–17 Curry led the NBA in three-point field goals made (324) for a fifth straight season as the Warriors again led the NBA in wins (67). Golden State then ran off an unprecedented 12 straight victories to open the postseason and won a third consecutive Western Conference title. The Warriors finally had a postseason loss in game four of the NBA finals, but the team rebounded to defeat the Cavaliers in five games to capture Curry’s second NBA title.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry exists as a public figure beyond basketball, and this was never more evident than when President Donald Trump tweeted at him back in September.

Trump rescinded the Warriors' White House invitation based on Curry expressing that he might not want to go, which promptly settled any debate within the Warriors organization and signaled the fact that athletes are now interwoven into political discourse.

To that end, Curry wrote an essay titled "The Noise," which was published on The Players' Tribune on Saturday -- Veterans Day -- asking that Americans not shy away from the real issues facing veterans and saying that he felt obligated to use his platform because "In 2017, in America, silence is no longer an option."

He addressed the fact that many people believe that when athletes protest, particularly during the national anthem, they're disrespecting the military:

But when someone tells me that my stances, or athlete stances in general, are "disrespecting the military" -- which has become a popular thing to accuse peaceful protesters of -- it's something that I'm going to take very, very seriously. One of the beliefs that I hold most dear is how proud I am to be an American -- and how incredibly thankful I am for our troops. I know how fortunate I am to live in this country, and to do what I do for a living, and to raise my daughters in peace and prosperity. But I also hear from plenty of people who don't have it nearly as good as I do. Plenty of people who are genuinely struggling in this country. Especially our veterans.

And every single veteran I've spoken to, they've all said pretty much the exact same thing: That this conversation we've started to have in the world of sports … whether it's been Colin (Kaepernick) kneeling, or entire NFL teams finding their own ways to show unity, or me saying that I didn't want to go to the White House -- it's the opposite of disrespectful to them.

A lot of them have said, that even if they don't totally agree with every position of every person, this is exactly the thing that they fought to preserve: the freedom of every American to express our struggles, our fears, our frustrations, and our dreams for a more equal society.

Curry went on to recount a recent conversation with a veteran, who brought up many issues that Curry wanted to bring to the forefront:

He (Michael, the veteran) happened to have served in Afghanistan -- and he told me about how much he had been through, both physically and mentally, just in trying to transition back into society, and into his daily life. He offered some advice to me, about how I could help to raise awareness about some of the serious issues that veterans are going through -- for example, with the Veterans Affairs medical system, and how its administration is broken. And he educated me on demographics -- telling me about how less than 1 percent of the population today serves in the military, which makes it a real struggle for veterans, as a political constituency, to get the representation that they need.

How come those issues never seem to be a trending topic?

We hear all the time on TV and social media about "supporting our troops." But it's not just about saluting them or thanking them for their service at the airport -- and it's definitely not just about how we observe the national anthem. Michael told me that our veterans need real action. They need real help with medical services, and access to jobs, and readjusting to society.

At almost every turn our conversation took, Michael found some common ground: from talking about how he's a Warriors fan (good, good, I like it), to -- way more importantly -- pointing out how most of the issues that military vets face at home are actually the same as the issues faced by a lot of America. Homelessness, unemployment, mental health and, yes, racial inequality -- those are the issues that our vets are facing. These are mostly universal issues, which are being felt in every town in America.

Starting this past Monday, the Warriors are hosting "Hoops for Troops" Week, which includes in-arena recognition and events to honor U.S. military service members and veterans. Monday's game against the Heat w was "Military Appreciation Night" and Saturday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers is "Hoops for Troops Night."

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