In the aftermath of the hype surrounding the Curry brothers, Seth and Steph, facing each other in the Western Conference Finals, Steph walked away as the hero in his team’s convincing victory. Seth was an afterthought on a bad night for the road team.
No matter the result of Game 1, or the series, watching their children face off is agonizing for Dell and Sonya Curry, according to our own John Canzano. He wrote the following for Oregonlive:
“It’s hard for us,” Dell said.
For Steph, Game 1 would mark the 24th time he suited up for a conference finals game. Across the way, it would be Seth’s first. And so the Curry parents took a Blazers jersey autographed by Seth, and a Warriors jersey autographed by Steph, and had them customized into a half-and-half jersey.
Then they flipped a coin.
Really, nobody won. Or both did, maybe. Dad wore the Warriors jersey on front and Blazers on the back. Mom did the opposite. And this is how ex-NBA player Dell Curry and his wife of 31 years came to be dressed as they became the most-watched couple in the building on Tuesday night.
Canzano went on to describe father Dell’s difficulty in watching both sons compete, and that it reminded him of a similar familial conflict that was resolved a different way:
I’m more worried about Dell, as the game nearly tore him in half.
There’s no clean and easy way out of this series for him. A win is a loss. A loss is a win. One son is moving to within a step of an NBA title, the other is going home. Every parent wants what’s best for their children. But what happens when what’s best for one is what’s worst for the other?
It brings to mind an Olympics wrestling tournament I covered in 2004 in Athens. A Russian wrestler named Batirov Mavlet and his younger brother, Adam, had arrived in the finals of that country’s Olympic trials in the same weight class a month earlier. Instead of having them square off on the mat, their father gathered them at the kitchen table and had them talk it out.
There would be no match.
One would forfeit.
Older brother Batirov, they decided, would advance and compete for his country. The younger brother would wait four years and try again. That he failed to get back still sticks with me. But they lived with the result, because the alternative was too painful.
Fortunately for us all, Seth gets another crack at it Thursday night in Game 2.