When the NBA season wraps up in October, Stephen Curry will join the exclusive club of NBA superstars with 10 or more signature sneakers. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose were the only players to reach that milestone. The four-time champion launched the Curry brand with Under Armour in 2020. Since its launch, Curry has released two iconic sneakers and signed a NIL deal with University of Connecticut basketball star Azzi Fudd under his SC30 Inc. brand.
Sports Illustrated After winning his fourth championship, he spoke with Curry about his offseason, his signature line of sneakers and what’s coming next.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
SI: How does this championship offseason compare to other seasons?
Stephen Curry: When you play in the championship game, you win or lose — it’s a very short offseason. So this kind of quick turnaround is always fun. Obviously you’d love to keep celebrating the whole time the opposite of the alternative, but it’s a journey. The first four weeks felt like the blur of a parade. I played a golf tournament in Tahoe, hosted an ESPY, and everything in between was family time. All of this is great, and then you look up and you’re seven weeks away from training camp. So you’re always celebrating the odd point between what happened and looking to the future trying to do it again. It’s a great feeling because winning a championship and everything that comes with it is so exciting.
SI: You’ve been with Under Armour for almost 10 years. When you joined the brand, many people questioned your decision. Do you have anything to say about your journey over the past 10 years?
SC: I pretty much have to build something from scratch. UA has had signature athletes before, like Brandon Jennings. But we started right away, in my second year, I got into the iconic business with the Curry 1, and now we’re about to launch our 10th sneaker. Not everything is beautiful, and there is a lot of learning along the way, but when you’re doing business at the highest level, that’s part of it. We launched the Curry brand with the hope that as my career draws to a close and beyond, we will continue to capitalize on my success on the court and continue to foster a love of sports in communities that need support. We’re very proud of everything Curry Brand does, especially when we’re just starting out.
SI: How crazy is that you’re already in the retro phase in your sneaker collection? Why go this route when developing a previous old model?
SC: This is wild. When the idea first came up, I think I laughed. That’s when I signed in the summer of 2013, and you look back at what’s happened since then and all the different iterations of my signature shoe — it seemed like a long time, but on the other hand it didn’t. It’s very exciting to be able to bring back some classics with Flow technology. You’ll see me wearing a lot of different things this year, from Curry 10s to other shoes. So hopefully some of our relaunches of the classics will generate a lot of interest.
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SI: You keep coming back to the Purple Curry 4 Flotros in the playoffs and the Finals. What makes you think these sneakers are so special?
SC: You want all your shoes to be everyone’s favorite, but every time I ask someone, these four are usually at the top of their list. I just think it has a smooth upper and knit material, we threw the FloTro in there and it worked. I think it’s a simple and classic look. Curry is a favorite between Nos. 1 and 4. Being able to launch the Flotro on all fours is a great start as it now features Flow technology for both comfort and cushioning. It checks a lot of boxes.
SI: In 2013, you had one of the most talked about free sneaker agencies of all time. You mentioned that you went through the process of trying out sneakers for other brands, but I was wondering, how important was the trial UA spawn at the time? Did that sneaker have an impact on joining the company?
SC: 1000%. I think about Adidas and Nike at the time. I think it’s like Crazylight or something like that. Spawn is aesthetically unlike anything I’ve seen. It’s crazy how much technology has advanced because if you wear them now, they’re comfortable, but you’ll definitely notice the difference. That shoe really told me where I wanted to be, and I knew it was a great springboard to want a shoe that felt on the court. I believe Clutchfit was after that and then I got into Curry 1. So I’m definitely bringing back some Spawn variants because that’s part of my history 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 basketball players when they play in your boots?
SC: It’s always been important because I have a certain sense of how I want to play. I am at the end, I want to feel like barefoot against the super big cushion. when we launch [Curry] 7, that’s where we really solidified the need for that kind of feedback from all the different types of athletes. We launched Flow at the time, which is such an innovative technology, you want to make sure it doesn’t feel like “oh, I love it” because I work with the brand that released it – you want it to have the purpose behind the actual functionality and Benefit. When we got to 7 and 8, we wanted to spread that part of the brand more, and we’ll continue to do that.
SI: Only a few have reached 10 signature sneaker models. What can we expect from Curry 10?
SC: 10’s are cool. Without revealing what the theme is, there is a sense of completion in terms of all the different iterations from 1-10 and all the looks we have. The alignment of 8, 9 and 10 also depends on our progress in 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 present, but we’re also going to acknowledge some things from the past, and I like the fact that we can make sure to highlight the 10’s while also bringing in retro and lifestyle stuff.
SI: “The night, the celebration of the night” has become a global thing. Are we going to see you incorporate you into your sneaker collection in some way?
SC: laugh. As far as colorway collaborations and ideas go, I would never say never.
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