Steph Curry is often lauded for being an even better person off the court than he is on it. Which is saying a lot for a two-time NBA MVP, and three-time champion. But, for all the grace and humility that the Golden State Warriors superstar possesses, he’s not above a little swagger and bravado with impeccable timing.
And for that, we are very, very thankful.
During the Warriors win on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings, Curry displayed one of his most theatrical moments when he trolled Houston Rockets star James Harden. Curry was called for a travelling violation on a step-back three-point attempt - Harden’s signature move. The Warriors point guard was none too pleased that he got called for travelling, when the reigning MVP Harden regularly gets away with the same motion.
To voice his displeasure, Curry trolled Harden by holding up a “1” and a “3” over his jersey number, to pretend he was wearing Harden’s number 13 digs (in the heat of the moment Curry actually displayed “31,” not “13,” but we’ll give him a pass). It was not only hilarious, but quite clever.
Curry hits the Harden double stepback, called for a travel.— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 6, 2019
Educated guess: looks like Steph uses his hands to tell the ref if he had 13 on his chest he wouldn’t have called it. pic.twitter.com/pTzWaNgrfK
Here’s a closer look at the specific moment when Curry started to troll Harden - and could barely suppress a smile in the process.
Steph Curry putting up James Harden’s uniform number after getting called for the James Harden Travel pic.twitter.com/YpZSP48KL8— Aaron Bruski (@aaronbruski) January 6, 2019
If you were watching the Warriors broadcast, you also got the entertainment value of listening to Bob Fitzgerald absolutely lose his mind with incredulity. While dubious of the call at first, both Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett admitted upon replay that the call was correct, but stressed disappointment that the league rarely whistles Harden for the step he takes during the gather.
After the game, Curry laughed about the incident, telling reporters that, “obviously [the refs] got confused - they knew it was someone different, so they called it.”
Steph Curry on throwing up a 13 to the referee after he got called for a travel on a James Harden like stepback: “I’ve seen that once or twice. Tried it myself. Obviously they got confused. They knew it was someone else, so they called it.” pic.twitter.com/hBGgaCcsk9— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 6, 2019
In case you need some context or evidence, we’ll leave you with this parting gift: