For their latest cover story, Sports Illustrated sent Rick Reilly all across the country to follow Steph Curry and the Warriors around. What he found isn’t all that surprising: It seems everyone, everywhere loves Steph. When they see him on the street in their city, they aren’t shy about running up to him to ask for autographs and pictures, and as you would probably guess, Curry is (usually) happy to sign and snap photos when people ask.
It’s a much different approach than the one that Michael Jordan took during his playing days. Reilly experienced what it was like to follow MJ around during the prime of his career, and he describes the Bulls as “an army coming to town.” According to him, they weren’t there to sign autographs for opposing fans or take photos with them. And Reilly writes about how MJ in particular wasn’t quite as fan friendly as Curry is today.
Golden State head coach Steve Kerr confirmed Reilly’s stories about MJ’s travel habits, too. He’s the only guy on the planet who can offer up a fair comparison about what it was like to travel with MJ back in the day versus what it’s like to travel with Curry today. And in his mind, it’s night and day.
“Michael Jordan lived a separate life from us,” Kerr told SI while speaking about his former Bulls teammate. “He stayed in his own suites, had his own security people. Steph takes a regular room like everybody else, goes everywhere the rest of the guys do.”
Kerr also pointed out that there’s a big difference in the way fans and opposing players perceived MJ versus the way they perceive Curry.
“Michael intimidated players just by walking on the court,” he said. “Fans, too. Steph walks on the floor, and people are like, ‘How old is he? 13?’”
You can check out the full SI story here. In it, Curry talks about the MJ comparisons, America’s obsession with his family life, the comments his former coach Mark Jackson made about him ruining the game of basketball, and more.
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[via Sports Illustrated]