I’ve always felt there were a lot of similarities between Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry and San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey. In fact many years ago, when I started writing for Golden State of Mind’s sister site, McCovey Chronicles, my first article was finding Warriors comparisons for Giants players, and I linked Curry with Posey.
It’s pretty easy to pair Curry and Posey like one of the analogy questions on the SATs. They’re both superstars, serving not just as the face of their respective franchise, but one of the faces of their league as well. They’ve won MVPs, and each has a trio of championship rings.
They’re both family men, who carry themselves with unwavering humility while playing with equally unwavering cockiness. They both debuted in 2009, and instantly endeared themselves to the fanbases. I always thought they even kind of looked alike.
Curry and Posey are the two defining characters of the last decade and a half of Bay Area sports; they’re the two untouchable athletic stars of the region. Even an owner entirely devoid of sentimentality wouldn’t consider trading either; they’d be too concerned with their own safety.
So it was predictable then, that the Bay Area sports world ground to a screeching halt last week, when Posey — fresh off of one of the best seasons of his career, and still just 34 — announced his retirement. And it was fitting that Curry had some touching words about the person I can only describe as his baseball counterpart.
Steph has a lot of respect for Buster Posey retiring on his own terms pic.twitter.com/2cVqAVxkT5— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 6, 2021
“Pure class,” Curry said, after revealing that he watched Posey’s press conference. “The way he represented the entire Giants organization, himself, his family. It’s so cool to see somebody be able to go out on their own terms, with hopefully no regrets ... it’s pretty awesome to stand up on a podium like that when your career is over and ride off into the sunset on your own terms. That’s dope.”
Curry and Posey’s careers have ran in somewhat parallel lines, which has been beautiful — but perhaps gave some Dubs’ fans pause when Posey’s announcement came flying across the interwebs.
But don’t expect Curry to follow this stage of Posey’s career — at least not yet. Curry ended his remarks by saying, “I hope to be in that position — not too soon.” The implication was clear: Curry would like to go out on his own terms, rejecting potential contracts on the table rather than hanging up his Under Armour sneakers because no team came calling. He wants to call the shots, and not let the visible effects of Mother Nature show, the way they do for 99% of athletes.
But that day is, hopefully, not soon.
For all of their similarities, Curry and Posey have some key differences. Both have injury histories, but Curry’s seem like less of a barrier these days. Posey said that the game is not as enjoyable in his current physical state, which seems to be the opposite of Curry’s experience. Posey’s primary reason for retirement seemed to be a desire to be around his family, and there Curry has an advantage. Not only does the NBA season have roughly half as many games (and off days ... take notes, MLB!), but Steph’s kin are one of the first families of basketball.
You see them at many games, and traveling for key matchups. It’s easier to do that in basketball than in baseball. He’s able to be with his family more than Posey likely is.
And then there’s the legacy. While Curry is clear that he’s a father and husband first and foremost, he seems slightly more interested in adding to his place in basketball lore. Posey said at his presser that he wanted his legacy to be faith, family, and how he treats people, and that after that, “everything else falls into place.”
Curry undoubtedly prioritizes those things as well ... but you get the sense that he’s invested in further cementing his status as one of the greatest players of all time. And who can blame him?m?
There will be a day where Curry, like Posey, plays his final game. And reading into his comments, he seems pretty determined to have that game come with the Warriors.
Let’s hope he goes out on top. Let’s hope he goes out on his own terms. Let’s hope he goes out smiling, with no regrets.
And let’s hope it’s not for a long, long time.