Opinion

A Letter to Stephen Curry from a Fan

from – PopZette – by Lee Habeeb

I’ve been a big fan for a long time. I was a scoring point guard and captain of my high school basketball team. My dad was a very good college player. Your dad played on a bigger stage with the Charlotte Hornets. Both of our dads taught us there were more important things in life than basketball.

I first saw you play in your freshman year at Davidson College. It was clear that you were destined for a great college career. You were a point guard’s point guard. You could handle the ball, see the floor, shoot the long three, and you could drive the lane and finish.

You were small but fearless. You were a scorer, but you were selfless. You could shoot the lights out, but you could create shots for your teammates, too. And that may be the most valuable talent not only in basketball, but life — creating for others.

When you left Davidson at the end of your junior year as the nation’s leading scorer, many doubted someone as small and skinny as you could make it in the NBA. Some questioned your toughness. They thought you’d get beaten up by the bigger, stronger NBA guards. You defied the odds. And the skeptics.

And then you did something even I didn’t expect. Maybe you didn’t either. You got better. And better. Until you became one of the dominant players in the NBA.

You also became a great leader. And always, you lead by example. When you and your other half, “Smash Brother” Clay Thompson, broke the NBA record in the 2013-2014 season for most combined three-pointers (484), I was surprised. No one had deployed the three-point shot the way you guys did. Never had it been used as an offensive weapon. You changed the game, and gave every little guy with a great shot and a love of the game a reason to dream bigger.

The following season, the two of you broke that same record again (525 three-pointers), and not satisfied, the Smash Brothers went on to smash your own record with 678 three-pointers.

What was and is most pleasing to watch, however, is the joy you exhibit playing the game — the joy you exhibit when your teammates do something great. You often seem happier with them than you do with your own performance, which is the true mark of a leader.

It’s also the true mark of a Christian. Humility is the most important of the Christian virtues. I am a Christian, and love the way you carry yourself on the floor. I love it when you pound your chest and point to the sky after each shot you make. You don’t hide your faith. At the same time, you don’t hammer people with your faith, either.

I love the fact that on some of your “Curry One” sneakers, there’s a lace loop scripted “4:13.” It’s a Bible verse from Philippeans, which reads, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I love that tattoo on your wrist from 1 Corinthians which says, in Hebrew, these words: “Love never fails.”

I love that a guy as skilled, as smart, as famous, and as rich as you is not afraid to talk about love. And show your love for God.

When you received the NBA’s MVP a few years back, the speech you gave was so beautiful. You put God first. You then thanked your mom for always being there. You fought back tears thanking your dad for teaching you how to be a man, and cried for all of the men in this world who never had a father. I cried, too.

I also admire the way you conduct yourself off the court. I know I won’t ever read a headline about you abusing a woman, or abusing anyone. You are living a life that is admirable, good, and decent. Your wife and two precious daughters are lucky to have a husband and a father like you. And you know you’re lucky to have them.

I have admired you up close at games, and from afar on TV — which is why I am so disappointed by your recent comments regarding Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and President Donald Trump.

Plank had just left a visit from the White House with some corporate leaders when he was asked to comment on the meeting. Plank described President Trump as an “asset” to the country, and also described him as a “pro-business president.”

Rather than call Plank, with whom you have a very special partnership, to find out what he meant by those words, you did something I didn’t expect from you. You took a cheap shot at him. And President Trump. And the millions of fans who love you and also happened to vote for a man you insulted.

“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et,’” you told a local reporter, referring to Plank’s description of Trump as an asset.

And there it was. You called the president of the United States an a**.

It was so beneath you, Stephen. Because Plank was simply stating what millions of people who voted for Trump believed: that he’d do a better job than Hillary Clinton in growing our economy. A better job creating better jobs — better paying jobs — for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.

When asked whether you would consider leaving Under Armour if the company’s values began to align with Trump’s, you responded affirmatively.

“If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am,” you said.

I respect that. And so I wonder: What values do you support when it comes to religious tolerance? As you may or may not know, Christians are being slaughtered or being asked to renounce their faith by radical Islamists all over the Middle East. Is that a value you support?

Muslim themselves are the biggest victims of this radical strain in the Muslim faith, and the vast majority of Muslims want what all people want, which is to live in peace. But there are many radical Islamists — too many — around the globe seeking to do harm to others who don’t agree with their worldview. Some of them wish to enter the United States. Shouldn’t that be a core value of any president, to do his best to protect fellow citizens from those kinds of evils? And can’t reasonable people disagree about how to best effectuate that outcome?

And what about the treatment of gays and women in so many Middle Eastern countries? Women can’t vote, let alone drive in many of them, and being gay is punishable by death. Does any of that resonate with your core values? We are not bigots when we point these truths out, Stephen.

You talk about your faith in God being your highest priority, and I stand with you. But when you endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton, did her position on late-term abortions square with your core values? Or the position of her party, as we watched the Democratic National Committee all but remove God from their platform?

I am a Christian who, like some, doesn’t believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned, and I am also glad that gay people have a right to marry in this country. But do your core values support the targeting of Christian businesses by gay couples seeking to do them harm solely because of their religious beliefs? Is it right to target one Christian baker when one knows many other bakers in the neighborhood willing to bake a cake and happily serve it at a gay wedding?

Who is doing the discriminating, the bullying, there, Stephen?

Isn’t doing no harm to your neighbor a core value? Shouldn’t we learn to love one another despite our differences? Love, it says right there on your wrist, never fails?

Is calling the president of the United States an a** your way of showing it?

Here is what I found most disappointing about your rebuttal to Kevin Plank. You know him. You know his heart, and his commitment to his city, Baltimore — one of the most politically progressive cities in the country, and one with a large African-American population. Plank’s commitment to that city is unrivaled. You know that. You also know very well his commitment to diversity and to building a community that includes people of every faith, class, gender, sexual orientation — and political orientation.

Yes, diversity includes diversity of ideas, Stephen. That’s what hurt the most about your little tirade. It was cheap, not clever. It was disrespectful to Plank. You should have just called him.

It was also disrespectful to people who view the world differently politically than you do. And worse, it had the feeling of a threat.

You know you can do harm to a great brand. And you didn’t mind letting Kevin Plank know, in a public way, that he’d best be careful. That’s what you, and athletes like you, were doing. And you know it.

That was your pride showing. It was ugly, a word I’ve never used before to describe you. But being a Christian, you know the perils of pride. And the ugly things we do because of our pride.

Know that I am, and will always be, a big fan of yours. I’ll be rooting for your merry band of Warriors to stick it to the Cavaliers this spring. And praying for you and your family. I will forgive this transgression because that’s what Christians are implored to do every day: Forgive ourselves and our neighbors. Those very same neighbors our God commands us to love. No matter what our political beliefs.

All the best, and hope to hear back from you,

Lee

P.S. The author sent this letter to Curry’s agent. He is hoping for a reply.

Lee Habeeb is VP of content for Salem Radio Network and host of “Our American Stories.” He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife, Valerie, and his daughter, Reagan.

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87 Comments on "A Letter to Stephen Curry from a Fan"

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Curry’s comment is exactly why I stopped following sports a long time ago, and stopped going to the movies. Many sports figures, as well as movie stars, think because they are in the lime-light they know everything. This could not be further from the truth. Yes, they have freedom of speech, and I would not deny that to them. But, I expect more from these people. Adoring fans look up to them which puts them in a position to do some good, and many of them do. But, I also expect them to be role models for our youngsters. Curry is not a role model. He has hurt himself, possibly Under Armour and this great country. He will reap what he sows!!!!

I agree, but also think that if the “news” media didn’t give celebrities coverage of this kind of thing there would be little of these comments
made or even seeing the light of day!

Well stated in a nutshell John. I couldn’t agree more!

You would think that any “serious” criticism of the President would include ideas and positions that had been “thought out”. Emotional rants with the progressive left as the audience isn’t helpful to the discussion. I agree with the author of this letter to Stephen. Convince us that your position is right or remain silent.

Yes, that would be a start: really know what you are talking about. In calling the president an ass Curry stained his career. It made me long for Bob Cousy.

Cousy is another great player that played in my younger days.

I now buy Under Armour products….just not at Target or Nordstroms!

would not hurt to add sears and kmart to that list.

God Bless America
Trap

exactly!! No Target or Nordstroms ever…

But Devan, Mr Plank acquiesced and backed off his positive statement…

Awesome letter. I think it reflects the sentiments of many fans concerning professional athletes who are way overpaid and coddled. No one expects Stephen’s views to be 100% aligned with everyone else, but as a man, he should be tolerant of other people’s opinions (especially Mr. Plank who gives him a ridiculously exorbitant amount of money just to use his name!). HIs basketball skills are unparalleled and unquestionably, one of the best NBA players ever. However, as a man and a role model for others, he has shamed himself.

The spirit and gist of the letter was right on…but extremely verbose. He could have made his point in about half the words. Steph will probably give up on this half way through and have his agent answer it.

I agree with this piece. Hypocrisy is a very telling point in one’s character. Let’s hope he answers this letter.

I would be very surprised if he does – VERY surprised.

Hypocrisy has a very long line of adherents, including the author of the letter. It’s too bad but we’ve come to expect this from athletes, entertainers, politicians, etc.

The hypocrisy of the author is confirmed when he states the he is against overturning Roe vs Wade. No Christian would turn their back on the slaughter of innocent babies.

Amen. Mr. Habeeb is criticizing Stephen Curry for calling President Trump an ass, when in fact Habeeb’s own letter is more worthy of criticism for its affirmation of the decriminalized murder of pre-born children and for state-sanctioned sodomy under the pretense of marriage.

Agree, wholeheartedly. The real label “Christian” is more than “being nice”. I would add to the “Roe” concern, the God ordained institution of “marriage”. One does not have to be a Christian to see the Constitutional twisting both decision took. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 seems to fit.

very true Donald — only twisted to meet a social issue, ungodly desire; but not a biblical perspective at all re: “marriage” issue and Roe issue — if you want Federal benefits (IRS, etc) that come with marriage then change the Federal benefits standard not the institution of marriage which is biblically quite clear – what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah…

I was a little confused by the support for Roe v. Wade and the support for gay marriage (Maybe Civil Unions, but marriage is God’s domain). I became more confused when I saw he was VP of Content for Salem Radio Network. Other than that, a great article. Sorry to hear Mr. Plank also succumbed to any pressure he got. Oh, well.

Good letter but Lee is living a double standard too. How does he justify sanctioning murder and being a Christian (abortion)? Homosexual marriage when God defines it as an abomination?

Terrific article! … Steph Curry exhibits the shooting skills I so admire but find lacking in men’s basketball. I don’t care to see men dunking the ball because most of them exhibit poor overall shooting skills. That’s why I so admire the women’s game, they don’t/can’t dunk and so have to develop better shooting skills. NBA and men’s basketball in general, is so racially dominated by African Americans. Where is the outrage calling for equal rights for all people. I once lost the opportunity to have an extremely well paying job/career because of affirmative action. I took a test with at least 50 other applicants and had the highest score, a 96, plus had 4 years of similar experience and was told I was the best qualified person for the job but the last person they would hire because of affirmative action. Any minority who passed the test with a… Read more »

The author of this letter is not a real Christian. There is no way you can believe in the Bible and think that the slaughter of innocents (abortion) is okay. There is no way you can believe in the Bible and think that the perversion of homosexuality is okay. My words to Curry would not be filled with admiration, because he is just another liberal scumbag. The only difference is that he is very good at playing a child’s game.

What a shame that so many people make stupid comments without researching the facts.

Archie H. Hubbard III

Except for paid religious leaders, it has been my experience to grab my wallet around others who wave scripture in my face. Curry just proves my point. He wants my money for his endorsements. He, unfortunately, is like all the spoiled athletes who think they are fooling anybody but themselves.
As the devil told his son, “Go forth and quote lots of scripture”.

Why Currys comments don’t matter? He is just another person making a lot of money that thinks he’s influential. Sorry. Middle class America sat up, voted and became one. Join in and act adult like. Middle class Americans do not break into businesses, burn cars and shoot police.

That is the mark of the “tolerant” left.

PCism has destroyed the land. Curry plays in a largely Black sport and is half Black himself. He is just being PC to appease his constituents. A sigh of weakness.

This was right on! Conservatives and Christians are under attack in this country like never before. We are demonized and degraded by the progressive left who would prefer this country be like Venezuela or Cuba, Obama’s personal favorite. The self proclaimed “tolerant” left is not tolerant of ANYTHING a conservative or Christian does or says. It would be humorous if it wasn’t so sad. They don’t even know how ridiculous they sound or how blatantly biased their actions are. I will share this excellently written article with all my friends. Pray for our country’s leadership, which includes those CEOs of businesses who are being attacked by progressive activists. Too many of them cave to these radical ideas. Hopefully, Stephen Curry and others like him who are role models to our youth will seriously consider how they are impacting the future of our country. Don’t forget how the extremely liberal media… Read more »

Conservatives complain about the liberal media, but do nothing to influence it – a losing strategy.

Unfortunately asking questions that require thought to answer doesn’t work with liberals. For some reason, if a question leads to a conclusion that doesn’t match the liberal preset, the liberal simply becomes angry with the person that asked the question and shuts that person out. Nice try though.

Curry is a good baller but not a great one. The great ones don’t choke. See John Havlicek.

Mr. Habeeb, A very well written and thoughtful piece. Especially liked your comments regarding “pride”. What Christian doesn’t battle that beast daily? Please inform your readers when you hear from Mr. Curry. Best regards, Steve

Lee Habeeb and Stephen Curry have more in common then in disagreement. They are both liberals who affirm decriminalized abortion and state-sanctioned sodomy under the false pretense of marriage. They only differ on how to address President Trump. Curry calls Trump an ass and Habeeb does not. What difference does it make? On the fundamentals of social policy Habeeb and Curry are in agreement against the laws of nature and nature’s God and the Ten Commandments of God! There is no real substantive difference between the worldview of Lee Habeeb and Stephen Curry!

I think you need help in reading. You missed Lee’s irony all together

Mr. Habeeb is criticizing Stephen Curry for calling President Trump an ass, when in fact Habeeb’s own letter is more worthy of criticism for its affirmation of the decriminalized murder of pre-born children and for state-sanctioned sodomy under the false pretense of marriage. His idea of Christianity sounds more like Robert Schuller’s “Power of Positive Thinking” than that of Jesus Christ who stated that “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword.” Matthew 10:34. The sword of Jesus Christ is the TRUTH. Love “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth” 1 Corinthians 13:6. The truth is that what Curry said was not wrong in anyway at all but what Mr. Habeeb says in his letter is an endorsement of what is intrinsically evil and wrong: decriminalized abortion, the homosexual ideology, and state- sanctioned sodomy licences under… Read more »

Very well said.

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