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Why Davidson hasn’t retired Stephen Curry’s number

Curry-Championship Trophy Basketball

Former Davidson College All-American and NBA All Star Stephen Curry, center, smiles and laughs as he poses for photographs with members of the Davidson College men’s basketball team and head coach Bob McKillop, right, Thursday, Sept.17, 2015, in Davidson, N.C. Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, made a surprise visit to his alma mater, bringing the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy along with him to show off. (Jeff Siner/The Charlotte Observer via AP) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT


Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA.

He’s the reigning MVP and playing even better this season. He’s on pace to shatter 3-point records, and he’s led the Warriors to unprecedented success.

Not for nothing, he’s also extremely popular. Curry led the league in All-Star voting last season.

So why hasn’t Davidson retired his number?

C.L. Brown of ESPN:

The school retires only the jerseys of players who graduated. And Curry, the most recognized and accomplished player in school history, has not completed his degree requirements after going to the NBA a year early in 2009.

“I knew what I signed up for when I went to Davidson,” Curry said. “I made a promise to coach [Bob] McKillop and my family that when I left school back in ’09 that that would be accomplished -- and it will be soon. Hopefully sooner than later.”

Despite Curry’s popularity, Davidson athletic director Jim Murphy said there hasn’t been any movement to make an exception and allow him the recognition.

“It’s one of those things where, I’m not even sure who would make that decision to be honest with you, just because it’s never come up before,” Murphy said.

Everybody is handling this well.

Davidson, first and foremost, is a school. It’s perfectly reasonable for a school to consider a degree a necessary condition of jersey retirement. Curry doesn’t deserve an exception.

And Curry was wise to leave school early for the NBA. He was clearly ready to turn pro, getting drafted No. 7 overall. He doesn’t need a degree to get the millions he’s earning now.

One consequence of Curry’s route is not getting his college jersey retired, but it’s safe to say the pros outweigh the cons. Maybe he’ll graduate once he has more time after leading Golden State deep into the playoffs and spending summers with Team USA.

In the meantime, Davidson upholds its values, and that’s more important than honoring Curry.