Warriors superstar Steph Curry had an admirer in a man who raised the bar in his own sport.
Diego Maradona, the legendary Argentine soccer player, was a massive basketball fan before his death on Nov. 25 at the age of 60. The New York Times' Marc Stein, writing for his "On Basketball" newsletter Tuesday, noted that Maradona told TyC Sports last year "that he began admiring the San Antonio Spurs from afar even before they employed Manu Ginobili, his fellow Argentine, and kept loving the league long enough to become a Stephen Curry fan."
"I'm having fun with LeBron James and with Curry," Diego told the outlet (h/t NBA Mexico).
Curry and Maradona grew up in vastly different circumstances, with the former a son of a 16-year NBA veteran and the latter the son of a factory worker. Maradona battled substance abuse off the field and Curry has maintained a squeaky clean image off the court, but Maradona might've nonetheless seen a kindred spirit in Curry.
After all, both are paradigm-shifting superstars with the a flair for the dramatic whose diminutive statures didn't diminish their dominance.
Maradona dazzled soccer fans around the world with dribbles, feints and flicks in much the same way Curry amazes audiences across the globe with crossovers, cross-court dimes and ridiculous shooting range. Knowing of Maradona's admiration, it's hard not think of Curry's Oracle Arena tunnel shots when you see footage of Maradona juggling and warming up before one of his own games.
Even after his passing, the legacy of Maradona is alive and well on the soccer pitch, Countryman Lionel Messi follows his footsteps as Argentina's greatest player and, arguably, as the best of all time in the sport.
It's alive and well on the basketball court, too, thanks to Curry's game-changing emergence over the last decade as one of the sport's biggest stars.