Playing in front of his father, Steph carries on family tradition and then some

OAKLAND — Conspiracy theorists believe that if Stephen Curry were to leave the Golden State Warriors after his contract expires this offseason, it would be to go play for his hometown team, the Charlotte Hornets.

But, if he did that, he wouldn’t be able to play against them, and Steph loves to play against Charlotte.

In four games against the Hornets over the last two seasons, he’s averaged 34.5 points per game while shooting 61.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line. On Wednesday, after missing the last game due to a bout with the flu, he scored 39 points (11-for-15 on threes) and threw eight assists while not committing a turnover.

And he did all that damage in front of his father, Dell, who is a broadcaster for Charlotte and hit a long-distance shot himself before the game.

“I don’t take those opportunities [to play in front of his dad] for granted because it’s an unbelievable opportunity to play the game that [Dell] played for 16 years in the NBA and carry on that name in the league,” Steph said. “… When I see him, I do appreciate that night a little more than others because of what he means to my basketball career and my life.”

When Steph was in the eighth grade, it wasn’t easy for Dell to watch his oldest son play despite his dominance.

“I felt bad for the other team,” Dell said, recalling to Sports Illustrated a 60-plus-point performance by his son. “I couldn’t watch what he was doing to those kids.”

To Dell’s credit, he completed the broadcast.

But, the bigger point is that MVP-caliber Steph is undeniably back — regardless of who the Dubs are playing. He’s scored at least 20 points (averaging 27.8 per night) in the last 14 games while shooting 43.1 percent from deep.

“People were locked in on his percentage was a little down, which was neurotic because the numbers were still off the charts for anyone else,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “You just know that Steph is capable of incredible games like tonight, streaks, stretches, whatever you want to call it.”

Remember when most of the NBA talking heads were loudly asserting the Steph of yesteryear went was gone? At this point, I bet they pretend they don’t remember saying it either.

Contact Jacob C. Palmer at jpalmer@sfexaminer.com or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.

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