Yes, Stephen Curry is the NBA's reigning Most Valuable Player, the dagger-delivering and flame-throwing top gun of the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors, and the leader of the team favored to win the 2015 NBA Finals, which begin Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. More importantly, though, he's Riley's dad.
That would be, of course, Riley Curry, the adorable and irrepressible 2-year-old whose appearance at her dad's press conference following Game 1 of the Western Conference finals made her the talk of the nation — for better and, somewhat regrettably, for worse — and who returned to the podium following Golden State's Game 5 clincher to celebrate the Dubs' trip to the Finals in style.
[Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]
While much of Curry's media session after Wednesday's practice focused on stuff like preparing for the ratcheted-up intensity of the Finals and the challenge of playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by four-time MVP LeBron James, Steph did field an inquiry about what being a father has taught him, and how Riley has helped him get ready for the biggest series of his life.
The ever-cool Curry quickly offered with a pitch-perfect and very fatherly response:
"She's breaking down film with me," Curry deadpanned. "She's really — she's my biggest critic at home."
But then, presented with an opportunity to talk a bit more about his pride and joy, the MVP couldn't help himself.
"Being a father kind of gives you something more to play for," he said. "I think off the court, it just grounds you every day, because no matter if I have a good game, bad game, score 40, score 10, I think my daughter's going to be happy to see me when I get home, and that kind of makes everything all right.
"So I rarely ever have a bad day, regardless of what happens on the court," he added. "It just gives you something more than basketball to kind of play and live for, and it's pretty special. Obviously, every father would say pretty much the same thing about what their daughter or son means to them and how they impact their life."
Sounds like Riley's not the only one who feels blessed.
More 2015 NBA Finals coverage:
- - - - - - -