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Saturday, July 2, 2022

NBA DNA: Father’s Day comes early for the father of these four Warriors

With three minutes left at the Golden State Warriors’ NBA championship clinic in Boston, Dale Curry and the other players’ fathers and their families were taken to the stands to await the festivities.

“Hey, take it with you,” said Curry’s friend, handing him a winning cigar.

Along the way, Curry—one of the Warriors’ four fathers who had once starred in the NBA—found himself under a net with his unlit cigar.

“That’s as far as I go,” said Dale Curry to himself, as the clock ticked down and his soon-to-be Finals MVP son Steph Curry burst into tears.

With twenty seconds left in the game, little Curry looked at her father and walked to the edge of the court to share an emotional embrace.

“That moment was huge,” Dale said.

For warriors, this meant Father’s Day someday earlier this year.

Captured on TV, the hug between Curry echoes the joy and tears of Warriors fans as the team beat the Boston Celtics to claim their fourth title in eight years.

The win was a pinnacle moment not only for Curry but for the father of three other Warriors, who shared NBA DNA with their sons, playing pickup basketball together in the driveway and seeing them in the locker room with names like Magic and Kobe. Familiarize yourself with the veterans.

When the game finally ended, NBA Hall of Famer Gary Peyton Sr. found his son, Gary II, on the court in growing celebration. Former Houston Rockets Michelle Wiggins holds her son Andrew, the young breakout star of the Warriors. And Mychal Thompson, standing 6-foot-9, scanned over the scrum and watched Steph Curry’s “Splash Brother,” Kel.

Klay Thompson and his father, Mychal Thompson, shoot hoops on Tuesday, June 4, 2013. The elder Thompson was a No. 1 overall pick and a key role player during the Lakers’ Showtime heyday. (Sean Hiller/Daily Breeze)

The elder Thompson, who won two NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in the late 1980s, said, “I had to get his attention, hold him by the shoulders, turn him around and give him a big hug as he Was back in kindergarten.” and in the early 1990s. “As a parent, you still want to hug your kids, whether they’re older men or women. You still want to hug them as if they’re little kids because of how much you love them. “

Now with four NBA titles, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have long surpassed their fathers, and Andrew Wiggins, with one, has now done just that. But Gary Peyton II, who struggled for years under his great father’s vast shadow, was able to give him something he couldn’t achieve on his own: a title for both father and son.

Huntington Prep Basketball Player Andrew Wiggins, Center, With His Parents Michelle Wiggins And Marita Payne-Wiggins As They Make Their Commitment To The University Of Kansas During A Ceremony At St. Joseph'S High School In Huntington, Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Declare.  The W.va Canada Star, A Top Prospect, Averaged 23.4 Points And 11.2 Rebounds Per Game This Season For Huntington Prep Of West Virginia.  (Ap Photo/The Herald-Dispatch, Sholton Singer)
Andrew Wiggins, center, surrounded by his parents Michelle Wiggins and Marita Payne-Wiggins as they make their commitment to the University of Kansas during a ceremony at St. Joseph’s High School in Huntington, West Virginia Tuesday, May 14, 2013 declare. ( Associated Press Photo/The Herald-Dispatch, Sholton Singer)

“I told him, ‘Welcome to the club,'” Mychal Thompson said of Peyton Sr., who won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006. “He’s got a special, unique club now, where there are only five combinations of fathers and sons that have won an NBA title, and now they’ve joined the fraternity.”

That club also includes former Warriors great Rick Barry and his son Brent, who won a title with the San Antonio Spurs.

Del Curry never won an NBA championship. But as the clock stopped on Thursday as he stood under the basket, he returned to his playing days with the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors.

“To feel what it was like for friggin’ six games — with that atmosphere, with that intensity. I felt like I was standing there for 10 or 20 seconds,” he said. Reimagined how hard it is to be in the NBA and how hard it is to win a title.”

Both Curry and Thompson also know how hard it was for their sons to recover from devastating injuries the past two seasons, when the Warriors crashed out of the playoffs with five consecutive NBA Finals.

They were there, months into rehab, to reassure.

“You’re going to be healthy,” Dale Curry recalled to Steph when he broke his arm in 2019 and feared it could be a career-changing injury. “Your body will be fine.”

Being the son of an NBA star had its advantages. Growing up, Klay Thompson spent time in the locker room with Lakers legend Magic Johnson and was guided by Kobe Bryant. Curry shot baskets with NBA All-Star Vince Carter ahead of Toronto Raptors games. And Gary Peyton II grew up as a ballboy for his father’s team, the Seattle SuperSonics, grabbing revolts from Sean Kemp and handing out water bottles to the side.

But the relationship between father and son can be complicated. It’s always a challenge to navigate the fine line between encouragement and expectation—especially when fathers are famous, when fans stop them for autographs at the grocery store, when comparisons are inevitable, when sons take their father’s name. Huh.

It has been particularly difficult for Gary Peyton II, who has spoken publicly about the tension with his father over the years. In an interview with Bay Area Newsgroup on Thursday, Peyton II said that a year earlier, his father had called him “a regrettable basketball player.”

“He kept it real with me. And I think the biggest lesson from all of this right now is that he’s being real and just being blunt with me and telling me things I didn’t want to hear,” Peyton II said. Told. “But inevitably, it kindled a fire beneath me. And essentially, I’m here, right now, because of those words.”

Former Nba Player Gary Payton (L) And Son, Gary Payton Jr., Attend The 28Th Anniversary Sports Spectacular Gala At Hyatt Regency Century Plaza On May 19, 2013 In Century City, California.  (Photo By Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images For Sports Spectacular)
Former NBA player Gary Payton (L) and son, Gary Payton Jr., attend the 28th Anniversary Sports Spectacular Gala at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 19, 2013 in Century City, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular)

All fathers, including Payton’s, have expressed over the years how they wanted their sons to forge their own path and find their own happiness. But the sons still had to grapple with high expectations.

Klay Thompson’s father remembers sharing his high hopes for his son when he was driving home from a high school game in Southern California when Klay scored over 30 points in a game against DeMar DeRozan. who now plays for the Chicago Bulls.

“I was really proud of him when I told him that he would be in the Hall of Fame someday,” Thompson said. “He didn’t say much. He wasn’t thinking about being an NBA champion and Hall of Famer, he was just trying to get through the next practice in high school.

For Dale Curry, finding that balance meant having a relationship with Steph that went “beyond basketball.” They raised their two sons and daughter in the same way their father raised them, they said, spending a lot of time together off the court, including golfing and fishing.

But these past weeks, as the Warriors progressed to the playoffs, it’s all been basketball.

During Thursday night’s game, Del Curry sat down with his other son, Seth, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, and analyzed each play as Steph amassed 34 points, including six three-pointers. Dale’s son-in-law Damien Lee also plays on the Warriors.

“For one son to be able to win a title,” he said, “and share it with the other son in the bleachers and then with the two of them after the game—a father couldn’t ask for more.”

By the time Dale Curry found himself at the bottom of the basket, Steph Curry pointed to his ring finger and said “Goodnight!”

Dale saw Steph’s shoulders tremble and tears welled up in her eyes. It’s the guy who made her happy as a toddler from the stands, dismissed as a very small amount, that has stunned critics in every way.

“It’s so hard, so hard,” Dale said, “it takes so much dedication, discipline, sacrifice.”

He didn’t pay attention to the clock. Little did she realize that the game was still going on when Steph stepped away from the game for a hug.

World Nation News Desk
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