The sight of Sonya Curry strolling into Oracle Arena in a Portland Trail Blazers jersey was, well, weird. After all, her son, Stephen, is two-time NBA MVP and a Golden State Warriors star. But her other son, Seth, plays for Portland, so when the teams met in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night, she and her husband managed the situation as best they could.
As promised, they flipped a coin. Sonya put on Seth’s No. 31 jersey, and Dell wore Stephen’s No. 30 — to a point. They each had the other son’s jersey stitched to the back.
“Who are you with?” Stephen ribbed Sonya when he first saw her (via the Mercury News). “When I made a shot, I saw her stand up and cheer and I saw her in all Portland gear. It’s just weird. It’s probably more nerve-racking for them in terms of just trying to get settled into what this series is going to mean.”
At stake is a spot in the NBA Finals and the Warriors made a statement with a 116-94 Game 1 rout in which Steph scored 36 points and tied an NBA postseason record by hitting 9 of 15 three-point attempts. Seth made only one of his seven three-point attempts, but still got a hug from Mom and Dad. The experience seemed wonderful and difficult and agonizing all at once.
“A different light goes off when you see your brother across from you,” Stephen said. “We’re going to enjoy this experience and it will be something to remember, no matter how it ends up.”
He admitted that he was especially aware of his family in the stands, with his parents planning to sit with his wife, Ayesha, and his sister, Sydel, during the games in Oakland and with Seth’s fiancee, Callie Rivers, in Portland.
“I caught myself a couple times looking up in the stands at my parents,” Stephen said. “They can’t help themselves. So any time either one of us did something good, they both were clapping. So they got to fix themselves.”
Easier said than done. Remember how, whenever Eli and Peyton Manning would face one another, the tension showed on their parents’ typically stoic faces? Or how nerve-racking it has been over the years for the parents of Serena and Venus Williams to watch their daughters square off? Well, multiply that by four (and possibly seven) for Dell and Sonya.
Sydel, the duo’s younger sister, will have no problems choosing a side. She’s married to Steph’s teammate, Damion Lee. As for Steph, 31, and Seth, 28, they’ve been fairly relaxed, given what’s at stake in this series.
“So many years I’ve watched Steph play in the Western Conference final, the NBA Finals, being in the crowd,” Seth said, via the AP. “It’s going to be fun to be out there on the court, competing for the Finals. It’s a dream come true for us two, obviously, but our family’s going to have a lot of fun as well.”
The fun doesn’t always register on the face of a parent. Take, for instance, Oracene Price, who has had plenty of practice watching daughters Venus and Serena in their 26 head-to-head meetings. (She missed out on another possible chance when Serena withdrew from the Italian Open, where she was slated to play a second-round match Wednesday against Venus.) Eli and Peyton staged three Manning Bowls, with Peyton, the older brother, winning all three times. When the Manning boys were in the playoffs, Archie and Olivia would split up to attend their games.
The Currys brought their best poker faces to the Western finals.
“They’re like the royal family of the NBA,” Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s incredible. There they are, Steph and Seth, both having all this success. As parents, they must be having the time of their lives. Actually I know they are because I’ve talked to them about it. What a beautiful scene. I’m sure it will be conflicting for them this next couple of weeks but what a great story.”
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