Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Good Guys Don't Always Finish Last...A Case for Stephen Curry

Good guys don't always finish last. We want to believe it's true, don't we? But all too often we find evidence thats suggests they do—in relationships, in the work place, in sports—you name it. I'm here to give a striking and remarkable counterpoint, one that all Warriors' fans and many NBA basketball fans can appreciate: the  All-Star point guard Stephen Curry.

With the team leading 22 points on the night, Curry nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 2.2 seconds left, to beat the visiting Orlando Magic 98-97. As written on the GSW website, "Curry’s dramatic shot put the exclamation mark on the Warriors’ 14-4 run to end the game, with all 14 of those Golden State points scored by Curry and his backcourt mate Klay Thompson. Thompson notched 11 of his 20 points in the decision fourth quarter, as the Warriors avoided what would have been disappointing loss after having to a 10-point halftime lead. The victory pushes the Warriors’ franchise-best start to 15-2 and win streak to 10 games." Curry's bucket, heard round the world at Oracle still has me smiling. I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. 

For some reason, seeing Steph
w/o his high tops on cracked me up!
After the game, my friend and I met her boyfriend (who works for the Warriors) court side, where a group of fans stood to listen to the Comcast interview with him. I looked at Steph in awe of his skills and talents. As one the league's most valuable players, Curry won't strike you as an NBA All-Star. Standing just 6'3" and 185 pounds, he certainly isn't a freak of nature. I have no idea how he is able to physically withstand some of the brutes that he faces on the hardwood.

We then exited from a tunnel adjacent to the Warrior bench. Thomas advised us to just stand and wait; Curry would be coming through in just a minute. I wasn't sure exactly why we were doing what we were doing—it's always a little odd to loiter. But, I'm glad we did.

Moments later, this unassuming athlete came walking towards us without his shoes on and I stood speechless in front of him. A professional athlete can often become something other than just a regular guy, something much different than a man who just finished a game and was heading to the locker room in his socks, an ankle brace and a miraculously white jersey. It's all too tempting to reduce Curry to an icon, the face of the organization, the playmaker, the man, myth and eventually the legend. But when you encounter them up close and personal, it's not hard to do otherwise. He is exactly what his Twitter profile says: "Believer. Husband to , father to Riley, son, brother. Golden State Warriors guard. Davidson Wildcat. Philippians 4:13 "

Behind the scenes, upon his exit from his stage, I truly saw someone delighting in the fact that great wins never get old. Whether you're one of the greats or not, draining a three to take the lead (and the win) really is pretty special. And sharing that victory with your wife makes it that much more so. In a league that is unfortunately known for promiscuity and paternity suits, it was awesome for me to see these two—who genuinely appeared to me as the best of friends, laughing and loving all of it.

Bottom line: it's a moral victory when you see a good guy win. He is an example to me that when you have your priorities in order, the rest can fall into place. As Galatians 1:10 says: Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Steph Curry has his life in order: God, Partner, Parent, Child, Sibling, Warrior. Seems to me Curry has curried favor with humans and God.

Photo Credits
Thanks to Maricel for the photos! To Thomas for the tickets and to Elizabeth for the invitation

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