In most sports there are average players, stars, superstars, legends and then there is that level that most players, even the great, can only dream about, “Jeter-Status,” it’s when you become part of the city and the city belongs to you.
When you can have a sub-par series in the NBA Finals and your value somehow actually goes up. In game seven of the Finals last year, the only one the Warriors haven’t won out of the last three, Curry had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and just two assists, couple with 6-19 shooting from the floor and 4-14 from 3 point range. Those aren’t numbers to complain about for most players, but for Curry who can seemingly splash from anywhere in the arena at anytime, those aren’t that great. Nobody talks about it though. Not once you’ve reached Jeter-Status.
Once you hit Jeter-Status there are no real rules anymore, you can bring your kid up to the mic for the press conference, your wife can run her mouth about unfair treatment, you can play so average during the season that critics even question how necessary you are to the team, and people just go ahead, ignore all the noise and erect a wax statue for you. Basically, you have become an untouchable.
The difference is there are quite a few “adored” players in Yankee history. New York is a Mecca for sports and its fans are not afraid to share the love. Golden State is a completely different story, while the Warriors have had some decent players “Steph” has not only changed the team, he has also started to change the way we look at the game. His 40+ foot jumpers are starting to reach mythological status, not only in Golden State, but across the entire league. Even if you are a fan of the opposing team you can’t help but admire that sweet stroke from downtown, his calm but passionate demeanor, that sparkle in his eye, and that all around love for the game. The hometown fans adore him and it seems now that he is rolling with a top-notch crew around him and without another team anywhere on the horizon that seems to be able to stop them, Steph seems poised to be the king of the Warriors organization for many years to come. What else is there to love about Steph you ask?
“Curry has always set that tone in the locker room. For example, it’s been years since money was a divisive issue in the Warriors’ franchise. That’s because it’s hard to complain about money when the best player is severely underpaid yet dancing around with joy. Every other star on the roster followed by taking less money than he could have gotten. The path has been paved for Durant to do the same in July.”
You’ve got to love a superstar who is the face of his team, 2-time NBA MVP, two time NBA Champion and is playing out a very pedestrian, 4 year, 44 million dollar contract, and he’s doing it with a huge smile on his face.
Steph hasn’t just stolen the heart of the city, he is the heart of the city.