Sports Illustrated ran an excerpt from Marcus Thompson’s new book on Steph Curry, and there’s a particularly interesting anecdote involving the Golden State Warriors guard, his former head coach Mark Jackson, and Jackson’s church.
At the time—which appears to be before the 2012-13 NBA season—Curry wasn’t the elite player he is now, but guy with potential, and unreliable ankles. He had undergone a minor procedure in April of that year and was taking it slowly through training camp. On an off day Curry visited True Love Worship Center International, the church where Jackson and his wife Desiree were pastors. As Thompson explains it, the service included a portion in which the members jogged around, which meant Curry, who was still being careful while healing from his recent surgery, participated.
There was also a scene in which Curry was brought up to the front of the congregation by Desiree, and had his ankle anointed in oil. He had planned on going back to his seat when Jackson’s wife stopped him. From the excerpt:
“Where you going?” Desiree asked the star point guard in front of the congregation. Curry responded with his go-to look of bewilderment, a half smile and widened eyes. He thought he was supposed to return back among the flock when she was done.
It took Curry a second to understand what she meant. Then the old Bible stories rushed to his mind. Like when Jesus healed the lame man at the Pool of Bethesda, that man had to pick up his mat and walk. If he believed he was healed, he needed to show it.
So Curry started shimmying and hopping on his right foot, much to the delight of the congregation.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Curry said.
Curry played in 78 games that season after 26 in the previous campaign, so that oil might have been Mark Jackson’s most effective move.