Steph Curry Gets Why Some People Think He’s Cocky

All celebrities grapple with ego to some extent, but none as fiercely as professional athletes. In sports, achieving superstardom is directly tied to performance. Those who rise to the top often end up with an inflated sense of self. From Sugar Ray Robinson, to Randy Moss, to Barry Bonds, the sports world is full of cocky personalities. Even someone seemingly as mild-mannered as Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry often gets labeled cocky by fans. Curry’s defenders, on the other hand, maintain that the sharp-shooting guard is simply confident.

Steph Curry smiling, looking over the camera
Steph Curry | Jason Miller/Getty Images

Who is Stephen Curry?

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Stephen Curry is the eldest son of former-NBA player Dell Curry, who spent sixteen years in the league. Perhaps not surprisingly, Dell Curry’s basketball career was built around his stellar shooting prowess—a skill he passed on to his sons Stephen and Seth. Stephen was born in 1988 in Akron, Ohio, although he spent most of his time growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Although Curry developed formidable shooting skills and an above average basketball IQ by the time he was a high schooler, he didn’t receive much interest from college programs. The main knock against Curry was his size. At the time, he stood just six feet tall, with a thin wiry frame. Curry ended up playing college basketball at the little known Davidson College.

By the time Curry’s college career was wrapping up, however, he was on the radar of most NBA teams. As a sophomore, he lead the Davidson team all the way to the Elite Eight round of March Madness. During his junior year, Curry had the highest scoring average in the entire country, at 28.6 points per game. As a result, the Warriors selected him with the seventh pick of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Curry’s claim to fame

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Since entering the league in 2009, Curry has built a legacy as one of the greatest shooters of all time. Of course, during his first few years, nobody was quite sure whether the talented young guard would prosper. Although Curry was already a lights out shooter from three-point range, commentators questioned his durability. Ankle injuries only increased those worries.

Yet by the 2013-2014 season, Curry had put such worries to bed, leading the league in three-pointers while appearing in 78 games, according to Basketball-Reference. In the 2014-2015 season, Curry improved his performance across the board and captained the Warriors to a championship victory. He also brought home MVP honors that year—a feat he was to duplicate during the 2016-2017 season.

In the following seasons, the Warriors became a perennial title contender. They won two more championships behind Curry’s seemingly unstoppable three-point shooting. Although Curry currently sits at the number three spot in the all-time made three-pointers list, most analysts consider him a lock to secure the number one position within another couple of years.

Curry responds to charges of cockiness

Curry recently discussed the topic of his cockiness in a conversation with Chris “COSeezy” Strachan. Not surprisingly, Curry took a gentle and understanding approach to the issue, starting off by saying that he could “get how you can interpret it that way.” He also acknowledged that, if he had to play against himself, he might get annoyed at some of his confident flourishes.

From there, however, Curry pointed out that he has often ended up on the wrong side of other players’ cocky displays—and has never overreacted in such moments. Ultimately, Curry said that what some people take for cockiness is really just the joy he takes in the game of basketball. Having had to overcome two different right ankle surgeries during the course of his career, Curry considers that joy well-earned.