Yes we're in March Madness and everyone's brackets are busted due to many upsets and mid seedings.
Nine years ago, Golden State Warriors guard and two time reigning MVP Stephen Curry was on a bracket busting Davidson Wildcats team that barely lost to eventual champ Kansas in the 2008 Elite Eight.
It was at that point that he was no longer Dell Curry's son, a former NBA guard himself. He had formed his own legend, which led him to being drafted 6th overall in 2009 by the same Warriors.
Despite criticisms about his ankle, size, and level of competition he faced, I knew Steph was the real deal. I watched him in person for $10 play against Wofford College. He dropped 40 on them that night, making it look easy.
Fast forward to now, 2017. He not only has formed a brand for himself, his team, franchise and even family (wife, Ayesha and young daughters), he has had to get stronger and tougher.
This began to surface last season in the 2016 NBA Finals, when he was so frustrated with the officiating and his friend off the court LeBron James that he threw his mouthpiece that regularly hangs from his mouth. He was uncharacteristically ejected and fined $25,000. The other night, he and Russell Westbrook traded some shoves and pushes, as Russ is the leading MVP candidate this season and has become a rival for Steph.
Steph went from undersized underdog to NBA superstar with a deadly shot. So yes other teams and players will come at him and taunt him nightly. For the most part he and his teammates have handled it well. Steph has to act out and show the NBA that he will not stand for it, or be unfairly harassed. He is a tough guy, and also has his tweeting wife's support and even his baby sister Sydel, who attended the Spurs game last season in San Antonio and was vocal about her thoughts.
Point being, Steph is more than just a baby faced, slim shooter. He is a star and he is not to be messed with.
Does he deserve passes or special treatment now that is living in a new normal? Of course not. But the NBA had better recognize that Curry is no joke or fluke, and will show hands, arms, and his mouthpiece if necessary.
Also, if his coach, Steve Kerr or commissioner Adam Silver, restrain him, he not only has supportive teammates and family, but huge fans now. He demands respect and will get it.