Steph Curry was struggling — then Tiger Woods called
Steph Curry was told he’d be getting a call. It’d be a Florida area code, but he should answer.
Curry had just shot 8 for 21 from the field, and 2 for 10 from 3, and his Golden State Warriors had lost by 10 in the third game of their 2015 NBA playoff series. Four days earlier, the Warriors lost by seven, and Curry was even colder — 7 of 19 and 2 of 11. He had won the MVP and Golden State had the league’s best regular-season record, but they were now two games from being bounced.
After an off-day practice, Curry’s phone rang.
Florida area code.
“It was the biggest pep talk of all time,” Curry said this week on the Huddle and Flow podcast. “Just out of the blue, he spoke some life into our comeback during that round.”
And not just the Warriors’ comeback. Golden State won Game 4 by 17, Game 5 by 20 and Game 6 by 13, and they’d go on to win their first NBA title in 40 years. Curry, meanwhile, scored 33, 18 and 32 points and shot 28 of 63 over the three games.
Woods, at the time, had just tied for 69th at the Players Championship. So what on earth was his wisdom?
“And he told me — I said, ‘I’m ready for it. I know we’re going to get it done,’” Curry said on the podcast. “And he dropped the mic at the end of the call. He’s like, ‘Prove it,’ and just hung up.
“It doesn’t get better than that. He lit the fire under me, for sure.”
Woods and Curry share an interest in each others’ sports. Woods is a Lakers fan. Curry can swing nearly as well as he can shoot. He started playing golf when he was 9, his handicap has dipped as low as +1.5, and he’s played on the Korn Ferry Tour and in one of the The Matches. They share an interest in each other, too. When asked on the podcast who’s the one player he’d like to play with, Curry said Woods, though they never paired up.
“Obviously a hero of mine growing up and to know all he’s been through over the course of his career, you know, all the highs and lows and all that, I feel like that would be an amazing four or five hours out there to kind of hear his story from his lens,” Curry said on the podcast. “There’s a lot of content out there now about him and around him, but I’d like to hear it from his word and to see him hit amazing golf shots all day.”