Warriors

Teacher to Curry: 'I love you, but don't ever visit my high school'

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Teacher to Curry: 'I love you, but don't ever visit my high school'

Stephen Curry has the Warriors four wins away from winning the NBA title for the first time since 1975.

He is the league's MVP.

He is as popular as any athlete in the United States right now, and is adored by fans around the world.

But one such fan, Matt Amaral -- an English teacher at Mt. Eden High School in Hayward, California -- has conflicting feelings about the superstar point guard.

Back on May, 14, Amaral wrote a post on his blog entitled, "Dear Steph Curry, Now That You Are MVP Please Don’t Come Visit My High School"

Full 1,560 word entry:

Dear Steph,

I am a Dubs fan. Always have been, always will be. I pass by Oracle Arena every day to and from work. Traffic is so bad on 880 I often get to admire, at length, the giant hanging posters adorned with your face and the gaudy playoff decorations in blue and gold. Those also happen to be the school colors of the high school nearby where I teach. I have a Baron Davis jersey from We Believe, I grew up watching Run TMC. I giggled each and every time Manute Bol drained a three. When I was a wee lad one of my favorite things to say over and over was Sarunas Marciulionis. I am a Bay Area native, and the Warriors are my team.

And I love you. You would be my favorite player except for I have a soft spot for emotionally unstable crazies, and so I really love me some Draymond Green. But you are amazing and I also give you credit for being an amazing person off the court as well.

But I have to ask you to do me a solid and make sure you don’t ever come visit my high school.

I know the NBA does great things in the community, and I realize the Warriors are no exception. Your boy Klay Thompson is a finalist for the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for having such an impact in and around Oakland this year. The NBA Cares campaign continually shows the league is committed to getting out in the community and helping those in need. When you get involved in soup kitchens, wrap Christmas presents for needy kids, and build homes for the homeless I am inspired. But where those kinds of civic-minded activities have clear benefits, I have to tell you something you probably haven’t heard: Coming to poor high schools like mine isn’t going to help any of these kids out, in fact, it might make things worse.

You see, Steph (I hope you don’t mind if I call you Steph), if you come to my school you will be your usual inspiring, humble, hilarious, kind self and you will say all the right things. But the reason I don’t want you to come has to do with what you won’t say.

You won’t say that since the day you were born you had a professional one-on-one tutor who helped you hone your skills on a daily basis. Your father Dell Curry was an NBA great just like you are after him, but you will not remind the poor kids at my school that they have never had such a wonderful instructor and they never will.

And if you do ever visit my school, you also won’t mention that along with your father’s success came all the monetary rewards NONE of my students have, like three square meals a day; a full sized court and hoop in the backyard; a sense of safety; a mother and a father; top schools, top peers, and community resources. I know you might not think of it like this, but you might as well have come from another planet. But you won’t say that, will you?

I mean, look at Klay Thompson. I wonder if anyone else finds it odd that the best shooting back-court in NBA history were both born with silver balls.

You also won’t talk about the fact that you are a giant man and taller than almost all of my students will ever be. Even though on the court you look like Peter Dinklage in high tops, when you are around real people you are very, very tall. Six-foot-three is nothing to laugh at, and if you did walk into my classroom, you might hit your head on the doorframe. You won the genetic lottery in addition to the monetary one, but you probably won’t be reminding my students that their size alone has already kept them out of competing in most American professional sports.

What you will do is shoot some threes, dazzle everyone with your dimples, high five the homies, and sign some autographs. It will be wonderful. At least, it will seem like that at first. But what you won’t see is the fact that most of these kids don’t have a backup plan for their dream of being you. If you ask the boys on my campus what they are going to be when they get older, the answer will involve a sport. They will claim they are going to play in the NBA or NFL, and seeing you there will make them think they can actually do it.

Because the worst thing you won’t tell them Steph, is that they can’t do it. You won’t tell them that will you? You won’t be able to bring yourself to tell them it is already too late. You won’t tell them about all those years when you were playing in top competitive leagues as a child. You won’t tell them that if they haven’t played organized basketball by the age of sixteen (twelve, really), they have no chance of going pro. You see, the kids I am talking about do not play year-round, they are not in a travelling league, and they have never even heard of a McDonald’s All-American; they just eat McDonald’s two meals a day and have Hot Cheetos in between.

Because by the time they are sixteen, boys in this country, if they have even a tiny, tiny chance of going pro, should already be on the radar of colleges and scouts. They should be the best player not just at their school but in their entire city. Probably their entire state. They should already be 6’3” and growing. You know this and I know this, but the kids who you will inspire with your presence will simply see you and think they too will be MVP one day, even though they don’t even play for our high school team. So instead of doing homework the night after your visit, they will grab their lopsided old ball and go play on the court with their little brother and shoot the ball badly, improbably thinking every time the ball actually does go in it means they are on their way to fame and fortune.

You see Steph, once you leave my school, the boys here are not going to run home and finish that essay, which is one thing they could do about their future that is in their control. Just like if Beyonce came here, the girls wouldn’t head back to their one bedroom apartments filled with two families and begin their science labs. When Beyonce tells them to make sure they pass Algebra, they look at her and ask “What for? Did Algebra help your voice?” Instead they will go home and look in the mirror and wish they were tanner and thicker and a better singer and dancer and they will cry into their mascara. Because that is what celebrity worship does, Steph, and we need these kids to do less of it rather than more. They are already very good at dreaming about being rich and famous, what we need them to do is get a little more realistic about what is in their control. We need less of an emphasis on sports and celebrity in high school, because it is hurting these kids too much as it is.

Really the more I think about it, the crazier it sounds to write to you and tell you NOT to come to my high school. I mean, you are such an awesome guy, you are a family man with a wife and daughter, with another on the way. That video your wife made is hella funny. You are humble, a leader, and clearly our young men need to meet a man like you. Maybe I’m wrong to write this letter.

Or maybe not. When I tell my students they are not going to be professional athletes, they like to say, “Won’t you feel stupid if one of your students does go pro?” And my answer is always the same: “No, because even if they do, that means I will still be 99.9% right. Right now I am one thousand for one thousand.” Steph, you and I know they have a better chance of winning the lottery, but no one seems to tell them these things but me. Would this letter make you feel better if I told you I discourage the California Lottery from giving inspirational speeches at my high school as well? If I wrote them a letter, would anyone think I was out of line? Probably not.

At risk of making Dub Nation mad at me, because I know how we can get, I don’t want you to think it has anything to do with you personally, or the team (I will be screaming every time you hit a three all throughout the playoffs). It’s me, not you. I mean, you are the man, and I am just a teacher–no one really. The truth is, every person on earth would probably get something out of meeting you in person. For you symbolize everything people in this country value most, you are the epitome of all we hold dear, you are the pinnacle of humanity: You are good at a sport."

 

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

OAKLAND – Much of the Now Generation barely knows how the Warriors lived before being plucked from the trash bin by an ambitious ownership group actually sincere in its vow to pursue greatness.

Before becoming the super team that “broke” the NBA a few years ago, the Warriors spent the better part of 20 years wearing the league’s brightest clown suit. They were submerged in such a toxic stew of instability, ineptitude and avarice that 42 wins was all it took for their fans to express full-throated “We Believe” euphoria.

Belief meant snapping a 13-year playoff drought.

The Warriors were, at that time, about where the Sacramento Kings were at the start of this season. By coincidence, the Kings are trying to put an end to a 13-year playoff drought.

Even for the Warriors fan that would like to crush the Kings into a fine purple powder, it is refreshing to see the Kings making themselves significant. They come into Oracle Arena on Thursday night with a 30-27 record – already more wins than they’ve achieved in eight of the last 10 seasons. They’re a part of a postseason race for the first time since

“Great story, great for Northern California, great for Sacramento,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says.

There’s a buzz in Sacramento that should be somewhat familiar to the Warriors fan of a dozen years ago – or to those that remember the 61-win Kings of Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divic, Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and Bobby Jackson.

The dazzling point guard, De’Aaron Fox is 21. The sharpshooter, Buddy Hield, is 26. Marvin Bagley III is 19, Harry Giles 20. Coach Dave Joerger is in the Coach of the Year discussion.

There are reasons why the Warriors have had difficulty shaking these dudes. After splitting four games with Sacramento last season, the champs this season are 3-0 – but with a win margin of 3.3 points.

“I love watching them play,” Kerr says. “Dave has done a fantastic job with the team. They’re exciting, they’re young and fun and full of energy. They’re tough to beat.”

Such talented youth is why the Kings have a future that can’t compare to the current Warriors, but is considerably much brighter than the “We Believe” bunch.

When Kerr was asked about a potential Warriors-Kings playoff series, he politely, and wisely, steered clear. His prerogative.

Here, though, we think a Warriors-Kings series in the first round would be great fun to watch. It wouldn’t be terribly competitive, but the Warriors could benefit from facing a team that out to change its status within the NBA.

Indeed, the Kings and the Lakers are the two most captivating first-round opponents for the Warriors. Any time LeBron James steps on the court to face the Warriors, it’s an event. And the idea of a team on the rise and only 80 miles away – and the former home of DeMarcus Cousins – ensures electricity.

To be sure, the appeal of either far outshines that of, say, the Spurs or the Timberwolves.

As someone eager for playoff hoops the Warriors were not able to provide, I often drove up to Sacramento in April and May. I saw and heard a man run out of Arco Arena sobbing and screaming after the Shaq-Kobe Lakers came back for an overtime win in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. It was the third consecutive postseason that the Kings were ousted by the Lakers.

When the Kings were contenders, their fans were annoyingly loud and profoundly engaged. The equivalent of Warriors fans at their most vociferous.

[RELATED: Five issues Warriors must confront to clear path to another championship]

“That place has always had great fans,” Kerr said. “I remember back in the day, going into Arco. So I’m happy for their fans because it’s been a while since they’ve been able to really connect with their team. And this team is easy to connect with.”

It seems somehow appropriate that on Thursday the Warriors will honor the “We Believe” team, with coach Don Nelson will be joined by Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson and Kelenna Azubuike at Oracle Arena.

If any fan can identify with the despair of those following the “Kangz,” it is the Warriors fan that remembers Keith Jennings and Bill Curley, endured Jason Caffey and Tony Farmer, and once saw Larry Hughes is the savior.

Kyrie Irving frustrated with free agency questions about Kevin Durant video

Kyrie Irving frustrated with free agency questions about Kevin Durant video

In a season where the Warriors have a chance to cement themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, what could happen this summer is stealing headlines.

Especially if you're Kevin Durant. 

Even when the Warriors star forward won his second NBA All-Star Game MVP, all anyone could talk about over the weekend was a video that surfaced of Durant and Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. Here's the gist of the clip: two superstar friends are laughing and having a conversation with each other.

Simple, right?

Oh, and both players could be free agents this summer and join up as teammates.

Irving was asked about the video Wednesday and a frustrating exchange ensued between point guard and reporter. 

From the social media uproar, Irving goes on to say, "This is the stuff that doesn't make the league fun."

The following is the full transcript and video of his responses. 

Durant has had his own issues with the media. He went silent for nine days before unleashing a tirade during a Warriors postgame press conference.

[RELATED: Warriors 'have no idea' what Kevin Durant will do in free agency]

The good news for both players is this -- basketball is back. The All-Star break is over and games can again be the focus when talking about both of these players. 

Well, maybe.