Stephen Curry will join an exclusive club of NBA superstars who have 10 or more signature sneakers when the NBA season kicks off in October. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose are the only players to ever reach this milestone. The four-time champion launched the Curry 2020 brand in partnership with Under Armour. Since launch, Curry has released two signature sneakers and signed UConn basketball star Azzi Fudd to a NIL deal under his SC30 Inc. brand.
sports illustrated spoke to Curry about his offseason after winning his fourth title, his signature sneaker line, and what’s next.
This interview has been edited and shortened for clarity.
SI: What felt different about this championship offseason than the others?
Stephen Curry: When you go to the championship, whether you win or lose – it’s a very short off-season. So this fast processing is always interesting in some way. Of course you’d love to party all the time, unlike the alternative, but it was a ride. The first four weeks felt like a blur with the parade. I went to a golf tournament in Tahoe, hosted the ESPYs, and everything in between was family time. All of that was great and then you look up and you have seven weeks until training camp starts. So you’re always in that weird spot between celebrating what happened and trying to do it again. It’s a great feeling because winning a championship and everything that goes with it is pretty awesome.
SI: You’re approaching 10 years with Under Armor. Many people questioned your decision when you joined the brand. What can you say about the journey over the last 10 years?
SC: I have to build quite a bit from scratch. UA has had signature athletes like Brandon Jennings before. But we started straight away and in my sophomore year I got into the signature business with the Curry 1 and now we’re about to launch the 10th shoe. Not everything about it was pretty, and there were many learning experiences along the way, but that’s part of doing business at the highest level. We started the Curry brand and hope towards the end of my career and even beyond that we will leverage my success on the pitch and continue to expand the love of sport in communities that need that support. Really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve with Curry Brand, especially as we’re just starting out.
SI: How wild is it that you are already in the retro stage with your sneaker line? Why go this route to further develop previous older models?
SC: it’s wild When the idea first came up I think I laughed. It was summer 2013 when I signed and you look back at what has happened since and all the different iterations of my signature shoe – it seems like a long time but on the other hand it isn’t. Being able to bring back some of the classics with Flow technology is extremely exciting. You’ll see me wearing a lot of different things this year, from the curry 10s to the other shoes. Hopefully there’s a big appetite out there for some of the classics we’re reissuing.
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SI: You kept coming back to the Purple Curry 4 Flotros in the playoffs and finals. What makes this sneaker so special for you?
SC: You want all of your shoes to be everyone’s favorites, but every time I ask people, the four are usually at the top of their list. I just think it has the smooth upper with the knit material and we threw the FloTro on it and it just works. I think it’s simple and a classic look. Between the curry 1’s and the 4’s are people’s favourites. Being able to start Flotro with the fours is an amazing start as it now offers the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and cushioning with Flow technology. It checks many boxes.
SI: In 2013 you had one of the most talked about sneaker-free agencies of all time. You mentioned testing sneakers for other brands, but I want to know how important it was to test this UA spawn back then? Did this sneaker have any influence on joining the company?
SC: 1000%. I try to imagine what Adidas and Nike had back then. I think it was like Crazylight or something. The Spawn was just a different aesthetic than anything I’ve seen. It’s crazy how far technology has progressed because when you put them on now they’re comfortable, but you can definitely tell the difference. This shoe really spoke to me at the time I wanted to go and I knew it was a good stepping stone to how a shoe should feel on court. I think Clutchfit was after that and then I went into the Curry 1. So I’m definitely going to bring back some spawn variations because it’s part of the history of my partnership with UA and now Curry Brand.
SI: You are obviously the most important person when it comes to testing your own signature sneakers. But how important is it to get feedback from the younger generation of hoopers when they play in your shoes?
SC: It’s always been important because I have a specific profile of how I want my kicks to feel. I’m bordering on the end I want to feel like bare feet as opposed to super mega pillows. When we started it [Curry] 7, since we’ve really cemented the need and desire for this type of feedback from all different types of athletes. We launched Flow back then, and it’s such innovative technology that you want to make sure it’s not just, ‘Oh, I like it’ because I’m with the brand that’s putting it out – you want to that it actually works Purposes and benefits behind it. When we got to 7 and 8, we wanted to radiate that part of the brand more, and we will continue to do so.
SI: Few people have reached 10 signature sneaker models. What can we expect with the Curry 10?
SC: The 10’s are cool. Without giving away what the themes are, there is a sense of completion in terms of all the different iterations from 1-10 and all the looks we have. There is also a consistency in the 8, 9 and 10 depending on how far we have come in terms of technology and innovation. The product is such an amazing place that you want to keep creating an identity. We’re going to stay in the now, but we’re also going to acknowledge some of the past and I like the fact that we can make sure the 10’s are highlighted but also bring in retro and lifestyle stuff.
SI: The night, night celebration has become a global thing. Will we see you integrate into your sneaker line in any way?
SC: laughs. I would never say never when it comes to colorway collaborations and ideas.
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