The haters said Steph Curry’s legacy was incomplete without it. They said he’d never catch LeBron James. They said that the 2018 Sportsperson of the Year award was due to Kevin Durant, that the Warriors had ruined the NBA by forming a super-sportsperson team.
Steph Curry shut the haters down once again by winning a second Sportsperson of the Year Award from Sports Illustrated, cementing his legacy in a way that a Finals MVP never could.
Stephen Curry was formally honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year on Thursday night, an award that lauded the Golden State Warriors’ star’s success in the community as much as his triumphs on the court. @annkillion https://t.co/EWMPhdl2yD— Sporting Green (@SportingGreenSF) December 10, 2022
There’s a very short list of athletes who have taken home two SOYs, and the other three have credible cases for being the G.O.A.T. in their respective sports. Those names are LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and Tom Brady.
LeBron has the same number of NBA titles as Steph. Like Tiger, Steph is regularly seen golfing on television, though I don’t think Tiger has ever won a Realscreen Award for Best New Reality Show Format, like Holey Moley did. Steph might be lagging behind Tom Brady in titles, 7-4, but he’s way ahead of Touchdown Tom in the category of Current Spouses, 1-0.
Curry won the award after winning his 4th championship, collecting MVP trophies for the All-Star Game, NBA Finals, and Western Conference Finals, where he’s still the only winner of the Magic Johnson Trophy. He was also honored for his work in the community, where he and his wife Ayesha have a foundation that combats food insecurity and promotes literacy. In addition, he was kidnapped by Pepe the King Prawn during Season Four of Holey Moley.
Curry also received the award along with the rest of the Warriors in 2018, with Sports Illustrated calling them “a generational phenomenon, the likes of which we might not see again for decades, if at all.” He’s the only athlete to win an SOY as a team and as an individual, a testament to his teamwork, as well as his sportspersonship.
At the ceremony Thursday night, Curry spoke about the history of the award, and how honored he felt.
“I grew up reading it, collecting it, and to know that in 2022 I’m on there it’s pretty crazy to think about,” Curry said, adding, “I hope people understand the work that goes into it the constant sacrifice and all, that you can’t just fast forward to the finished product, but it is special to know that you kind of changed the game.”
Curry also spoke about the recently-freed Brittney Griner, who he has been talking about in public throughout her ten-month detention in Russia.
“It’s an amazing outcome considering what she’s been through for the last 10 months, 10-plus months for her family and for Brittney to be reunited, and start the healing process of everything they’ve been through,” Curry said, then expressed appreciation to President Joe Biden (who has zero SOYs, for the record).
Curry is still motivated to win more championships, though Sportsperson of the Year is truly the peak of the mountaintop. Here’s hoping that after the Warriors win a fifth title this June, SI lets Steph be in the swimsuit issue.