Even if you are not a basketball fan, you are probably aware of the Stephen Curry phenomenon. If you are a fan, you admire Steph not only for the sheer fun and excitement he brings to basketball but also for how he's changed the game itself.
- This season, Steph made more 3-pointers than the average NBA team did for the first 25 years that the 3-point shot existed.
- Steph hit 126 more shots than anybody else has ever hit -- 1.53 per game over the course of an 82-game season. This is not about getting lucky or having random hot steaks. You do this by being great every game.
- Steph is the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point game with one or fewer free throw attempts.
- Since the 1983-84 season, there have been only 17 total games (regular season and playoffs) when a player scored at least 50 points in 36 or fewer minutes. Steph has three of those games. All have come this season.
- Nobody has ever led the NBA in 3-pointers while shooting as high a percentage as Steph shot this year. He's the most accurate volume shooter of all time. By the way, second place is Steph. Third place is also Steph.
- Last week, Steph scored 17 points in five minutes in Golden State's overtime win against Portland -- the most points in an overtime period in NBA history, regular or postseason.
- On May 10, Steph, who leads the league in scoring, steals, and 3-pointers, was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row. It's the first time a player has been unanimously chosen for the award.
Walk by any public basketball court and you will see children mimicking Steph's pregame workout drills. Even LeBron James' 8-year-old son, Bryce, wears number 30 in honor of Steph. College coaches are changing their game plans and recruiting practices. "Stephitis" is rampant at all levels of basketball -- with Steph hailed as a hero who has revolutionized and revitalized one of the most popular sports in the world.
Impressive. But what inspires me most about Steph is reflected in this simple tweet by his wife:
Here's the thing -- I work my butt off day in and day out, too. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows it because they hear me complaining about long airplane flights that leave me tired and achy. I make sure people know that I worked all weekend. I pepper my belated gifts, delayed correspondences, and overdue phone calls with mea culpas about my heavy workload.
Have you noticed how it's become "cool" to be too busy? Busyness has become a form of status -- busy people must be important people doing important work. Complaining about how busy we are isn't really about complaining so much as it is an indirect way of patting ourselves on the back and hoping everyone else will also pat our backs. "Look how hard I work -- don't you admire me more?"
I'm tired of hearing myself complain, so I'm sure the people around me are also tired of hearing it. How does complaining affect others? Does it bring my friends, family, clients, and coworkers joy, peace, or a sense of well-being? I wonder how life might be different if my husband tweeted: Susan works her butt off day in and day out and I have never heard her complain once, EVER.
I have not broken records, garnered public attention, or made millions of dollars like Steph. But like Steph, I can choose another way of being. Inspired by Steph, here's my declaration:
I recognize that working hard is something I choose to do. I am grateful that my work brings meaning to my life. I feel privileged that others appreciate what I do and tell me it is meaningful to them, too. I celebrate the idea that being busy is a reflection of my competence -- not my need for status.
Thank you, Ayesha Curry, for bringing another admirable quality of your husband to light. May his humility and dedication to family and work continue to shine brightly.