Monday, May 28, 2018

A Case for Being Your Own Biggest Fan: Steph Curry

For the fourth straight year in a row, the Golden State Warriors are headed to the NBA Finals. The 2017 Champions got there in a dramatic fashion—winning Game 7 on the road is no joke. The only time the Dubs led the series was when they returned to Oakland, following two games in Houston. The Warriors captured Game 2 and took Game 3 as well. Though the words of Steph Curry that fans will remember about Game 3 don't apply to the final game in the Westen Championship contest, I think his explanation does. 
Jeff Smith of the "Warriors Wire" wrote,
In arguably one of the most epic moments of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry gave a rowdy crowd reason to get even crazier during Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. 
With his team up 80-56 after his bucket, Curry had some words directly for the crowd. After scoring on a tough floater in the lane, Curry faced the home crowd and emphatically yelled, "This is my f---ing house!"
Warriors fans in attendance loved his expletive declaration as it signaled that after struggling to find his shot (in the first two games), Curry was back to his usual high scoring self. While many of his teammates and even his coach enjoyed seeing Curry catch fire, not everyone inside of Oracle shared those sentiments. 

Curry is a devout Christian, a loyal husband and doting father to two daughters (with another child on the way!). His parents are at the majority of his playoff games. Minus his tendency to chew on, if not throw his mouth guard, the 2016 MVP's reputation is squeaky yes, some fans were surprised and displeased when this role model dropped an "F-bomb" on national TV. Curry said, my mom "was telling me how I need to wash my mouth out, saying to wash it out with soap. It's a message I've heard before. She's right. I gotta do better. I can't talk like that." He added, "A lot of it was just talking to myself almost like you've got to be your biggest fan sometimes." 
I appreciate his insight. In fact, I have thought more about those words than the ones we weren't supposed to hear. Why? Because it's true: sometimes we DO need to be our own biggest fans. When we have a challenge or a difficult task, we have to affirm ourselves, encourage ourselves and focus.

I like to think that I am a discerning fan. I value qualities and characteristics in an athlete and seek to learn more about them...what makes them they work...what they do to cultivate their talent. I wonder: How do they shape their discipline? What do they eat? How do they condition themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? I look up to them because they have mastered something I admire. I look to them for guidance on how to get there...or how to improve...and how I can become the best version of myself. For me to be my own biggest fan would imply that I am taking inventory in the same way. A little self-knowledge never hurt! and yet, I want to tell my own athletes and students something more. Sorry, but I want you to be your biggest fan when you know you've put in the time and the effort. Believe in yourself, when you feel good about the strides you have made it working toward your goal. I won't tell you to be your own biggest fan because I'm supposed to. No, I want you to work toward something. This is a different way at viewing self-improvement. Go for it. 

When Steph Curry said, "This is my f---ing house!" I was disappointed. A lot of athletes say those words—or want to. Bad language is everywhere. Part of me is surprised the "F-word" still has power it's used so frequently. And frankly, I think it's easy to be like everybody else. I think what makes Steph Curry so remarkable on both a personal and professional level is because he is not....and I don't want him to be. We need role models who are different. Who choose to be better....who want more for themselves...and for us. 

Thank you, Steph for bringing the Warriors to the Championship Series. Many people here are your biggest fans...and you should be your own biggest fan. I have a feeling the only person that works as hard as you is on the opposing team. Game 1 starts on Thursday, May 31, in...YOUR house. team. 

Photo Credits
Head down yelling
My House

with KD

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