Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry is arguably the best basketball player in the world right now. He may also be the single-biggest Carolina Panthers fan on Earth. The Panthers racked up wins all season and Curry was along for the ride and effusive in his praise for the team.
So how did an NBA player playing in the Bay Area become such a big fan of a NFL team in North Carolina? Curry is like most sports fans and developed a passion for his hometown team. Curry grew up in Charlotte with his dad, Dell, spending the majority of his career playing for the Charlotte Hornets. While his Panthers fandom has been on display throughout their run to the Super Bowl, Curry isn't hopping on a bandwagon. He's been very public in his support for years, including a stretch when the Panthers weren't very good.
Here he was early in the 2012 season, just a year after the the Panthers finished with the worst record in the NFL.
Am I? As loyal panther fan im hype about this season. Need 2 turn that excitement to wins RT @JLitvack08 @StephenCurry30 Excited about Cam?— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) September 15, 2011
He watches games in person as the NBA season allows and shows off his Carolina gear when he can't make it to the game in person.
Big time answer TD right there by the @Panthers! We are here to play baby. I’m gonna lose my mind by the end of this! pic.twitter.com/XnfmUjXqKP— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 11, 2015
That's how you play football fellas. Gotta finish it and keep the momentum for next week pic.twitter.com/Z2MQ5JQ5qa— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 17, 2016
Curry even takes it a step beyond casual fandom. Wearing a Panthers jersey during Thanksgiving dinner? Yup.
Wearing a Panthers jersey during Warriors practice? You know it.
Representing the Panthers during NBA games? Yes, he even goes that far.
Put on for your city.@StephenCurry30 will rock his home team's colors tomorrow night. #IWILL #SB50 pic.twitter.com/FUPEXLmb7y— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) February 5, 2016
Curry is just like thousands of other die-hard Panthers fans. Except at his day job, he's the NBA MVP. That success comes with some perks. Like meeting his favorite players.
No. 30 + No. 1 = 31 (wins). pic.twitter.com/7Cg8w8ktzD— ESPN (@espn) December 3, 2015
Jonathan Stewart and Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers pose for a picture with Steph Curry post game. pic.twitter.com/O9HUwlTxeF— Jae Azizi (@JaeAzizi) December 3, 2015
The Warriors not only have Sunday off, allowing Curry to watch the game, but they're also on a homestand, meaning Curry will make the trip to Levi's Stadium to watch the game in person. You'll see curry on the field before the game pounding the drum for the Panthers.
A special guest will serve as the #KeepPounding Drummer for #SB50 pic.twitter.com/s9Q5dfddML— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) February 7, 2016
If Carolina wins, you might just see Curry on the field celebrating, too. "Hopefully they let me like storm the field. I'll be there in person. That would be pretty special," Curry said, via Sports Illustrated.