Public attention has turned to Stephen Curry thanks to the fact he won NBA MVP for 2015. However, his antics both on and off the court, in addition to his outspoken Christian faith, have won him new fans too.
According to Gary Parrish of CBS Sports, even fans from other teams have expressed their admiration for Curry. TNT captured the exchange between the Golden State Warriors point guard and a fan of the Memphis Grizzlies.
"That's a Grizzlies fan in a Grizzlies shirt asking Curry for a high-five smackdab in the middle of the reigning MVP's 33-point, eight-rebound, five-assist Game 4 performance that lifted Golden State to a 101-84 victory here at FedExForum," Parrish wrote. "Curry, always the gentleman, [happily] obliged."
Even though the fan, identified by Parrish as Nathan Howerton, claimed that he was mocking Curry, the MVP expressed determination throughout that game.
"When you put forth the effort and you see the results, it's a good feeling -- especially on the road and in a must-win situation for us," Curry said. "We are all very proud of the way we played from start to finish. ... That is how we are supposed to play."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr took note of Curry's performance during that game.
"I thought his mindset changed," Kerr said. "You probably noticed early in the game he wasn't shooting a whole lot. He was just trying to get the ball moving, which was our focus. I thought he was patient early. And then the game came to him."
Kerr elaborated on the advice he gave to Curry and the rest of the Warrior roster during that game.
"No matter who you are, at some point you're going to be under a lot of pressure," Kerr said. "Everybody is competing like crazy. You're going to hit some adversity. So you have to respond, and our guys responded well."
According to James Beattie of Western Journalism, Curry accepted the Most Valuable Player for 2014-2015 last week. He reaffirmed his Christian faith by giving credit to Jesus for the title.
"First and foremost I have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with the talents to play this game, with the family to support me, day in, day out," Curry said. "I'm His humble servant right now and I can't say enough how important my faith is to who I am and how I play the game."
Beattie noted that 27-year-old Curry also thanked his wife and father, who himself played in the NBA for 16 years. Curry attributed his success to faith, passion, drive and will.
"My mom started a Christian Montessori school when I was in first grade, so we all went there together-Mom was in charge as the head mistress, our aunt was our teacher, and our grandmother was the cook," Curry wrote. "My brother and sister and I were blessed to have such great influences in our lives, and I can honestly say that my mom and dad were the best. They raised us to believe in God, and we were at church every Wednesday for youth Bible studies and every Sunday for services."
Curry then recalled how he gave his life to Jesus Christ.
"I was in fourth grade, and I recall hearing and understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and walking down the aisle to give my life to Him," Curry wrote. "My parents continued to pour into my faith from that point on, making sure I understood the commitment I'd just made."
The Warriors point guard reflected on his journey to the basketball court. He eventually met Davidson's head coach, Bob McKillop, describing him as "a man of God."
"It was an added bonus to play for a leader who was grounded in faith," Curry wrote. "The entire recruiting and signing experience taught me about patience and seeking God's will, because He had a plan all along. I couldn't see it at the time, but I trusted He knew what was best for me."
Even though he now plays for the Warriors, Curry stated that his faith "continues to be my driving force."
"God's blessed me with an awesome support system in Oakland, starting with my head coach, Mark Jackson, who is a pastor of a congregation in Southern California," Curry wrote. "It's rare to have such an outspoken believer leading an NBA team. We also have about 10 guys on our team who attend our pregame chapels and pray together before games."
Curry realized that basketball was "just a game" that can disappear at any time. However, he remained grateful to God for granting him "talents to play basketball for a living."
"I love that basketball gives me the opportunities to do good things for people and to point them towards the Man who died for our sins on the cross," Curry said. "I know I have a place in heaven waiting for me because of Him, and that's something no earthly prize or trophy could ever top. There's more to me than just this jersey I wear, and that's Christ living inside of me."