For some athletes, a jersey is just a jersey. However, there are many players across all sports leagues that put a lot of stock into what they wear during the game. That’s especially true in the NBA, where many top athletes put a lot of thought into what’s on their back.
Many players famously stick to a single number, but few are as well known as Stephen Curry. He’s worn the number 30 throughout his entire career as an homage to his dad, Dell Curry, and that will likely never change.
I’ll break down why, as well as what the digits mean to him, below.
Anyone who’s followed Curry for his college or NBA career knows he’s only ever worn the number 30. Except, that’s not entirely true. While he’s only donned it while on the national stage, he actually wore number 20 in high school in North Carolina.
That’s because, as much as he wanted to wear number 30, it simply wasn’t an option. Charlotte Christian School only had one jersey in that number, and it was much too big.
While he grew into his frame, Curry was much slimmer than he is today. As much as he wanted to start out with 30, he simply didn’t have the ability to wear it. So, he took the next best thing.
His Father’s Footsteps
Though it might seem odd that Curry is so locked into the number 30, it’s the same number his dad, Dell, wore while he played in highschool, College, and the NBA. As such, Curry wears it as an homage to the person that helped develop his love for the game.
Dell played in the NBA for sixteen years. While he never reached the stardom (or skill) of his son, his love and passion for the game is something he instilled in Curry over the years. Not only that, but the two are extremely close and share a truly special bond.
Curry credits his dad with just about everything positive in his life. On top of that, Curry is someone who puts a great importance on family. Like his numerous tattoos for his kids, parents, and Ayesha, the number 30 is another public way to show what matters most to him.
Curry’s number is special, not just for its deeper meaning, but because it’s become a part of his on-court persona. However, he’s far from the only NBA player who got their iconic jersey number due to what it meant to them off the court.
In fact, Michael Jordan chose the number 23 as an homage to his brother. He could have gone with anything, but decided to get half of his brother’s number (45) rounded up. Lebron James then rocked the same number as Jordan as a tribute to his idol.
Beyond the two greats, there are plenty of players today who have deep connections to their jerseys. That includes Damien Lillard, Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Gordon Hayward.
Lillard rocks 0 to represent both his current state (Oregon), as well as his hometown (Oakland). Kevin Durant wore 35 as a way to pay tribute to his late AAU coach, George wears 13 as a nod to his nickname PG-13, while Hayward wears 20 because it’s the same number as Manu Ginobili.
That list shows that Curry is far from alone.
Read More: What Are NBA Jersey Number Rules
Not all NBA players put a lot of thought into their jersey numbers, but Steph Curry did. He’s always had a strong connection to his family, and he’s the type of player who likes to show the world what he values. In this case, it’s his dad.
Dell taught Curry just about everything he knows and pushed him towards greatness. With that in mind, even if Curry were to ever go to another team, it’s extremely unlikely that he would ever shift from the number that shows such a special bond.