I’m not sure anyone remembers this moment as much as I do: it was All-Star Weekend 2011. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge was on. There was this young guy competing. He originally hailed from the Carolinas but he had been the 7th draft pick for the Golden State Warriors. His father, Dell Curry, had played in the league for 16 years. This guy moved with finesse and grace. His name is Stephen Curry.
Although I wasn’t that big of a sports fan at the time, I decided to watch anyway and I was happy that I did. When Curry won the Skills challenge, I knew he had potential to be someone great, so I started following him.
Now, 5 years later, my heart is broken. I was just so certain that Curry would win the finals and I would have bragging rights for the next year just like I did the previous year. However, LeBron and the Cavaliers won. Some suggest that Curry and his squad were outplayed. Was this the case or were the Warriors set up to lose by the administration?
Ayesha Curry thought so. She tweeted about the NBA being “rigged.” It was featured in a series of tweets that came after Game 6 and they were surprisingly candid. Why would the wife of an NBA superstar speak so boldly against her husband’s bosses?
Of course, the first tweet was later deleted but not before news sources got a hold of it. Ayesha’s candid tweet came after Stephen Curry had abandoned his typically calm and collected nature; near the end of Game 6, Stephen threw his mouth piece and hit a fan because he thought the referees made a bad call. This foul was his 6th of the night, meaning that Curry had fouled out and his action resulted in Curry being ejected from Game 6, marking the first ejection in his career.
In lieu of this, I too thought something strange was going on. Stephen Curry rarely fouls out, so why would he start in a series clinching game of the NBA finals? Does it mean that the NBA is rigged? Well, it’s definitely possible. Going to Game 7 increased the anticipation which therefore increased ratings, meaning there was a bigger pay cut for the higher ups.
However, the league in general seems to be rigged. Ayesha Curry was just upset because it hadn’t been rigged in the Warriors favor that time. While thinking about Ayesha’s tweet, I recalled the Warriors miraculous recovery in the Thunder series that helped the Warriors clinch the Western Conference.
Once the Thunder were up 3-1, I prepared my goodbyes, yet I never had to say goodbye because the Warriors came back from the 3-1 deficit. Although I was happy to see Curry and his guys advance, I couldn’t help but think that something was off with that too. From a business perspective, the Warriors playing the Cavs would be far more engaging than the Cavs vs. the Thunder.
More people would tune in to see King James vs. “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Curry. As a domino effect, more money would be made. Then, once this match up had been manufactured, America would be on the edge of their seats at the prospect of the King being overthrown two times in a row.
It would be even more intriguing to see the Cavs become the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals, bringing their organization its first title. In order to make the series believable and create NBA history, the administration had to ensure that LeBron won. Once LeBron got his third ring, faith in humanity was restored; Cavs fans lost their minds.
It was a sad day for me as a Curry fan, but I understand why it had to happen; it’s what sold. People who criticize the NBA seem to forget that it’s all entertainment. Popularity and ticket sells typically supersede all else. To me, the NBA is rigged, but Ayesha Curry knew that going in to Game 6. If it wasn’t rigged, her husband wouldn’t have gotten that lovely Finals bonus that helped her finance open up her pop-up restaurant. So, all things considered, the NBA may actually be rigged, but Ayesha Curry is still a sore loser.