OPINION: Steph Curry Is A Crybaby
Before Game 6, along with most people who follow basketball, I had a tremendous amount of respect for Stephen Curry.
The Golden State Warrior’s premier attraction has proven he can play at an elite level in the league, winning back-to-back MVPs, and his sportsmanship, from the outset of his career through Game 5, was above reproach.
Curry says the right things when the Warriors win and the right things when they lose.
People want to root for him because he embodies that “every man” type. To look at him on the floor, assessing his slight frame in comparison to the big bodies around him, Steph could be just as well-suited to ride the subway to work in the morning, bound for a non-descript desk job.
People respect that.
They relate to it because everyone wants to feel like “I can do it.” Seeing a man of similar size and stature leads us all to believe “hard work” can really open the doors to our dreams.
Last night played more like a nightmare for Curry.
STEPH CURRY THROWS MOUTHPIECE, TANTRUM IN GAME 6
His tantrum as the game wound down likely reminded us all of that kid on the playground who didn’t like a call so he picked up his ball and went home.
You know the type, bold enough to boast when he hits a shot in your face, but too weak to handle the repercussions of missing a shot badly. The type that is happy to dish it out, but unwilling to absorb the trash talk coming from the opposite direction.
After Game 6, that is now my impression of Steph Curry.
Following a suspect foul call (one of many) at the 4:22 mark of the fourth quarter, with his team trailing 99-87, Curry offered a half-hearted effort at an argument with Referee Jason Phillips and then threw his mouth guard into the first row in frustration.
It was Curry’s sixth foul of the game, which automatically disqualified him from any further action, so I can understand the defending league MVP trying to get his money’s worth since he was already done for the game.
But his reaction was regrettable.
Not because Curry was upset and not because he was arguing the call either, to quote Bill Raftery, it was “small-change” at worst.
Curry did not rush over to the official and voice his opinion. (like teammate Draymond Green had done several times during the course of Game 6)
Instead he stood hollering at Phillips from a distance and then threw his mouthpiece in the direction of the scorer’s table, much like a three year-old throws his binky after being told “It’s nap time.”
The Warriors had been playing from behind all evening and finally they made a run to get it within 12. The foul call was bad, but what was Curry trying to accomplish with the “reach around and poke” move?
Who does that move again? Oh yea, that same kid from the schoolyard. And how often does it work?
Well Curry was called for at least two other fouls, just like it, earlier in the game, so you would think he would learn by the third time.
Kyrie Irving sank the technical free throw awarded to Cleveland and the Cavs also maintained possession.
On the ensuing possession, J.R. Smith drilled a 3-pointer and a once-12-point lead had swelled to 16 and it was curtains for Curry and company.
Steph wasn’t exactly alone on an island though.
Golden State Head Coach Steve Kerr was also critical of the fouls called on Curry, saying three of the calls were “ridiculous.”
“He had every right to be upset,” Kerr said in his postgame press conference. “He’s the MVP of the league. He gets six fouls called on him; three of them were absolutely ridiculous.”
That last line cost Kerr some money, both he and his star point guard were fined $25,000 by the league office Friday for criticizing the officials, a no-no in the NBA.
Kudos to Kerr for sticking up for his player, but Curry’s childlike tantrum will not draw any commendations.
Instead, it served as a reminder of that scrawny kid on the court you used to play with. Always calling touch fouls and complaining, but he’s the first to celebrate when something positive happens for him.
And now the world will remember the two-time MVP as the crybaby who threw his pacifier into the first row.
Someone remind him that pouting in public is no longer an accepted practice for a 28 year-old.