After blazing his path as the most renowned shooter in NBA history, Steph Curry requires little introduction. He collects MVP titles like he does points (i.e. quite well). Of course, Curry had more than a little help from his impressive family legacy. Gear up to these 42 killer facts about Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ “Baby-Faced Assassin.”
1. Once a Legacy, Always a Legacy
Steph Curry comes from a family of jocks. His father and his younger brother, Seth, are both successful NBA players. The former, his dad Dell Curry, retired back in 2002 as the Charlotte Hornets’ all-time leader in points. Those are big shoes to fill…
2. Second Time is the Charm
The man who would become known as Steph Curry was born Wardell Stephen Curry II, named after his father, Wardell “Dell” Curry I. Nicknames, like points, run in the family.
3. So Much for Family Loyalty
Steph Curry’s father was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers at the time of Steph’s birth. Ironically, the younger Curry’s Warriors would famously go head-to-head with LeBron James’s Cavaliers in four straight NBA finals.
4. 30 Going on 30
Steph Curry wears the number “30” on his basketball jersey in honor of his dad, Dell Curry. The older athlete also wore the 30 during his own NBA career.
5. If Looks Could Kill
Curry’s combination of youthful looks and shooting proficiency on the court earned him the nickname of “The Baby-Faced Assassin.” And this was during his pre-NBA days.
6. You Have a Point
To date, Steph Curry boasts the highest career free throw percentage (90.5%) in NBA history. He’s played almost exclusively as a point guard.
7. The Knees (Don’t) Have It
Curry was in the running to represent the US at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Unfortunately, he had to drop out due to ankle and knee injuries. Maybe next podium.
8. Stacked Year
The Golden State Warriors selected Curry with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. His draft class included other NBA stars such as Blake Griffin, James Harden, and Demar DeRozan. Prior to this pick, the Warriors had only made the playoffs once since the 1993/94 season, but the addition of Curry was the start of big things. Soon, the Golden State team built around Curry would be called one of the best in history.
9. The Right Arm of Love
Curry has several Bible-inspired tattoos. On his right wrist, for example, is Hebrew text which translates to the Corinthians 13:8, “love never fails.” Accordingly, his wife Ayesha matching tattoo under her own right hand.
10. When I Grow Up…
As a child, Steph Curry shot Burger King commercials with his then-superstar athlete father, Dell. In the spot, the younger Curry talks about his own dreams of NBA success. I guess there is truth in advertising.
11. Give the Man His Chick Flicks
Curry liked to watch movies with his sister, Sydel. His favorites? The Mask, Major Payne, The Master of Disguise, and even The Princess Diaries.
12. You Never Forget Your First Love
As Curry grew into his basketball talent (and 6’3″ tall frame), the teenager was aggressively recruited by university scouts for a spot on their teams—just not the elite Division 1 schools. In fact, not a single Division 1 School offered him a scholarship. It wasn’t a tragedy, however—he accepted an offer from Davidson College, who had been courting him since he was in the 10th grade.
13. Here’s the Skinny
The young Steph Curry’s first dream was to play college basketball for the Hokies, the team of his parents’ alma mater at Virginia Tech. His father’s legend earned him some attention, but his slender 160-pound frame squashed his early dreams; Virginia Tech only offered him a walk-on spot (i.e. no scholarship) due to his unimpressive figure. See, even legends have setbacks.
14. It All Evens Out
Curry’s other Bible-themed tattoo was a dual meaning. A greater than symbol sits next to a less than symbol (like “> <”) on his left bicep. This is the mark from John 3:30, where the Bible says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” In more secular terms, Curry has said this mark reminds him to live in the moment. As with the Corinthians tattoo, his wife Ayesha also had a matching > < on her own body.
15. Little Man, Big Hero
Curry saves a place in his fanboy heart for (1) his dad and (2) the little guy—specifically, Muggsy Bogues. As a child, Bogues was his favorite player to watch (just next to dear old dad, of course). Curry would count to days (and inches) to see how long it took to be as tall as Bogues, who peaked at 5’3” (Curry himself would eventually tower a foot over his idol).
16. Match Made in Heaven
Thank God: Curry met his wife, Toronto, Ontario-born Ayesha Alexander, in a church youth group in Charlotte when they were teens. Only friends in high school, they briefly went their separate ways: Alexander to become an actor in Los Angeles; Curry to do all the things on this list. One day, Curry found himself in Tinseltown for a basketball camp. He rang his old friend up, and they had their first date getting chai lattes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
17. Oh the Heights You Will Reach
Curry has the fastest jump shot ever recorded in the history of athletic science. In as little as 0.4 seconds after picking up his dribble, Curry can take the shot. For comparison, by the time it would take your average NBA player to even let go of the ball, Curry’s shot is already on its way—12 feet into the sky.
18. Body of a Champion, Face of a Cherub
Take it as a compliment Curry: the all-star still gets carded at bars. His youthful looks cast understandable suspicions from servers and bouncers who aren’t big sports fans. This exact scenario happened once while Curry ordered a beer with his wife at a California Pizza Kitchen. The waitress took one look at his baby face and needed to check if he was really over 21.
19. Back to the Tasty Grind
Before a big game, Curry can at least expect a delicious treatment at home. His wife Ayesha cooks him a specialty pre-game meal of lean protein and pasta. This regimen also includes a two-hour power nap and carefully selected music playlist of Lecrae and Swedish House Mafia.
20. Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be
Right before a big (high school) game, a teenaged Curry busted his own head open out of sheer excitement. During a locker room chant, he started jumping up and down, hitting his forehead hard enough to need stitches.
21. Lucky 7s Come in Twos
During a three-point shot practice, Steph Curry made 77 successful treys in a row. Not only that: he got 94/100 overall. Need a comparison? His contemporary, Klay Thompson, is also considered one of the greatest shooters in the history of basketball—and Thompson’s in-a-row record is only 36.
22. The Student Doesn’t Always Become the Master
Many all-star NBA players go on to coach after retirement—but not Curry. He has expressed plans to retire at the age of 38 and then leave the court for good. The time commitment involved in being a coach is just too much for him.
23. Jesus Take the Wheel (and the Pedals)
Curry is a devout Christian, and his shoes aren’t afraid to say it. The tongue of his first line of shoes, the Curry Ones, contain “4:13” on their stitching. This is in reference to Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Moreover, the shoes were advertised under the tagline, “Charged By Belief.”
24. Looking Sharp
One Bible-themed sneaker line wasn’t enough for Steph Curry. His second sneaker, the creatively named Curry Two, contains the stitching “27:17,” which refers to Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
25. Hole in One Nation United Under a Flag
Curry is also a golfer. He has shared a tee-time with US President Barack Obama at Martha’s Vineyard—how many people can boast that? Curry also shot two-under par at Pebble Beach, which is an equally impressive feat to some.
26. Play Ball? He Can Do It All
According to his father Dell, Steph Curry could have been a professional golfer if, for some reason, the basketball thing didn’t pan out. To quote the older Curry: “If Steph got a golf coach and practiced and put in the time like he does in basketball, he could play. He’s really good. He’s that good.”
27. Perform or Mom Gets Paid
You’re never too old to be “punished” by your mother. Until at least 2015, after Curry committed three turnovers, his mom “fined” him $100 for each additional one. It was a verbal contract—not an official one—but it was notarized by the court of mom.
28. Talk About an Early Introduction to the Big Leagues
Curry has been playing basketball since he was five years old. This is hardly surprising; his NBA player father, Dell, would often take Steph and his younger brother, Seth, to his games. There, Steph and his brother would get to shoot with professional NBA players during the warm-up exercises.
29. Hollywood, Get Your Time Machine
Curry has already pre-selected the actor who could play him in a movie. During a Warriors Facebook Q&A, he named Denzel Washington as the actor who could best embody his own image on screen. (For the record, Washington was almost twice Curry’s age at the time, at 61 years old).
30. Someone Call Nagini
Steph has a deadly fear of snakes. Now if only his opponents could sneak reptiles onto the field…
31. Three’s a Crowd
To date, Curry and his wife Ayesha have three children: daughters Riley (b. 2012) and Ryan (b. 2015), and their son Canon (b. 2018). Riley famously has a reputation for hijacking her dad’s press conferences.
32. The Issue with Tissues
During an online Q&A, Curry ranked “sneezing without covering your nose” as his number one pet peeve. His second? Unwanted criticism from retired NBA stars. I wonder which one he has to deal with more?
33. Can You Guess Who?
Curry’s youthful generosity—and lack of privacy protection—led to a cute story about returning a missing wallet filled with $160. Curry tells it best: “It was at the beginning of my sophomore year and I found a wallet in the dining hall. We have this campus-wide email that goes out every morning–Davidson is a small community, people look out for each other, you know?–and I put it in there. But my email had my first name, ‘Wardell,’ on it, so I don’t think the kid knew it was me until he showed up at my door. He was like, ‘you lit up Maryland in the NCAA tournament’ and then asked for my autograph. Pretty funny.”
34. The Baby-Faced Assassin is Learning Things on the Side
Curry still has time to watch TV? Shocking but true. The athlete’s favorite television program is ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.
35. Sweet as a Peach
Never stop enjoying the sweet things in life: Curry named eating candy as his worst lifestyle habit (hey, there’s way worse an NBA All-Star could get up to…). Specifically, Maynard’s Fuzzy Peach candies from Canada are his favorite guilty pleasure.
36. Mr. Popularity
In the 2015-16 season, Curry was named the NBA’s League MVP. Not surprising, given his record, but it’s a fact made more impressive if you remember he was the first ever MVP to be elected unanimously. Lebron James, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, they all won League MVPs, but they never managed that.
37. They Can’t All Be Slam Dunks
You can’t be good at everything. It wasn’t until his freshman year of college that Curry did his first dunk. To this day, they still aren’t his signature move. He’ll just have to settle for three-pointers.
38. When the Shoe Doesn’t Fit
Would a “Steph-on” Curry by any other name smell just as sweet? We don’t know, but don’t pronounce his name like that—it’s how Nike lost a deal with the superstar player. During their meeting, a Nike official mispronounced Steph’s name as “Steph-on.” At first, both Curry and his father Dell didn’t take it personally; it seemed like an honest mistake, albeit not one that was corrected. What really made it disrespectful? The name “Kevin Durant” was left on Nike’s PowerPoint slides, suggesting the pitchers had recycled graphics from an old presentation for their meeting with Curry.
Needless to say, the Nike deal fell through, and the Currys took their shoes to Under Armour.
39. This Bed Births Legends
Steph Curry was born in the same Akron, Ohio hospital as LeBron James. In fact, the two were born only 39 months apart, with James being older.
40. The Belle of the Ball
According to NBA experts, Curry’s reputation creates a double advantage on the court that is known as a “gravity effect.” Because of his intimidating shooting ability, opponents are more likely to double-team him, even when he doesn’t have the ball. As a result, his opponents’ occupation of the court is thinned out. This creates mismatches for Curry’s teammates to take advantage of.
41. The Mother of All Origin Stories
Curry’s sports genes aren’t just a paternal thing—his mother, Sonya, is an athlete with an impressive backstory. Born to extreme poverty, Sonya survived racist experiences with the Ku Klux Klan to attend Virginia Tech, where she received many athletic honors as a volleyball player. She even met her future husband there, while watching the men’s basketball team practice. However, her relationship with Curry’s father, Dell, would later put her at odds with the Charlotte Hornets’ former owner, George Shinn, who mistook the lighter-complexioned and blue-eyed Sonya as white.
Shinn disapproved of Sonya’s relationship with the darker-skinned Dell as “miscegenation.” Shinn would continue owning the team until 2010.
42. Not Suitable for All Players
Curry’s risky shots are driving video-gamer developers mad with frustration. Confused? It’s simple computer science: Curry’s signature move is long-range shots that would be disastrous for a typical player. Game coders for NBA 2K have been scratching their heads about how to recreate this for gamers without throwing off the whole system. To quote Visual Concepts director Mike Wang: “He breaks all the rules we have in place in terms of what a good shot and a bad shot would be. He’s the only one in the history of the game, maybe, who’s taking those kinds of shots.”
Imagine being so good, you defy game logic.