Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry might be from North Carolina, but now he is Bay Area through and through.
If winning NBA Championships, MVP awards, and scoring titles weren’t enough, Curry proved how connected he is to the Bay Area-based franchise again in the final game of the regular season.
After hitting a big shot to ice the game, Curry busted out a classic celebration. A celebration that was a direct shout-out to a Warriors legend.
Stephen Curry won the scoring title and beat the Memphis Grizzlies
In the last game of the 2020-21 regular season, Curry and the Warriors faced off against Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to the game, the Warriors sat in the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, and the Grizzlies were at No. 9.
It was a big game for the two teams. The winner would secure the No. 8 seed in the conference. This seed is far better than the No. 9 spot which will have to win twice to get into the playoffs.
The Warrior jumped out to a solid lead through three quarters. The Grizzlies stormed back, however, and took the lead with just over five minutes remaining. A few quick 3-pointers from Curry and a put-back by Andrew Wiggins got the lead back to nine for Golden State with just over 90 seconds to go.
That’s when Curry hit the dagger.
Curry’s celebration paid tribute to former Warrior Baron Davis
Curry crossed over his overmatched defender, De’Anthony Melton, and stepped back well behind the 3-point line. The 42.1% 3-point shooter buried a deep ball that put the game away for the Warriors. The former Davidson guard already clinched the season scoring title (averaging 32.0 points) earlier in the game, and now he sealed his Warriors into the first play-in game.
The 6’3”, two-time MVP could have picked any way to celebrate this big shot. What he chose is just one of the reasons that Warriors fans love him so much. In a somewhat obscure tip of the cap to former Warrior point guard Baron Davis, Curry turned around, pulled up his jersey, and flashed his stomach after the basket.
This throwback celebration mimicked Davis’s celebration from 14 years earlier. In a 2007 playoff game against the Utah Jazz, Davis capped off a Warriors blowout with a monster dunk over Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko.
Following the posterization, the crowd went wild. How did Davis celebrate? He lifted his jersey, exposing his stomach just like Curry would do more than two decades later.
Unfortunately for Davis and the ’07 Warriors, this is the only game in the round the team would win. The Jazz took the series 4-1.
Even Curry’s family got into the act after the game
In addition to the on-court heroics and the deep connection to the Bay, one more reason Curry is so beloved by Warriors fans is that his entire family is a big part of the community as well. His wife Ayesha and their three children are as much a part of Warriors Nation as Steph is.
The Curry’s youngest son, Canon, even went viral after the game with his won take on the celebration. Steph Curry shared a video via Sports Illustrated on Twitter of the (possible?) future NBA star dunking on a toy hoop. The young Curry then turned to the camera and executed his version of the Davis/Curry celebration.
The basket, the celebration, and the ensuing video were all great moments in Warriors history.
Now, fans are looking to Steph Curry to make a little more history. He needs to carry his team to one more win in their next two games to get the Warriors into the NBA Playoffs.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference