As with all things Bay Area, the grand opening of Foot Locker’s House of Hoops at Serramonte Center in Daly City, CA was abuzz with hype, excitement and pride. It’s fair to say that we here in the bay love our sneakers, but on this day, it wasn’t just the amazing House of Hoops player exclusives that drew such a large crowd. Within the limited space that was allowed, people squeezed, shimmied and stood on their tiptoes for more than an hour, just to get a glimpse of Stephen Curry, who was scheduled to make an appearance. Foot Locker was gracious enough to give CounterKicks an exclusive interview with Steph, and we made full use of our time with the rising star. Continue reading for the full interview with Stephen Curry at House of Hoops Serramonte Center launch…
CounterKicks: Steph, first and foremost, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. I know this is a hectic time for you, but all the sneakerheads out there want to pick your brain, so we have a couple of questions. First one, what is your first, most memorable sneaker moment? What is the first sneaker you remember seeing and going, “Man, I have to own that pair!”?
Stephen Curry: Probably the Shox, when I was growing up. My dad played with Vince (Carter) his second year in the league, I believe, so he had just come out with his shoe and we got a couple from Vince himself, in the Raptor colors and everything. So when I was playing, I played in Shox my whole middle school and high school career just because of Vince. So that was my first memorable shoe.
CK: Anything you ever slept on that you regret? A shoe that you passed on and were like, “Man, I should have picked up a pair of those!”.
Curry: I’d say, growing up, the whole Jordan collection. I knew about it, but I wasn’t really a junkie about it. Looking back, there’s so much history and legacy in the whole series. (Not) Being the first in line to get a new pair that came out, that’s something I kind of regret growing up, especially being a basketball player.
CK: What’s your all-time favorite sneaker? Do you have one?
Curry: All-time favorite sneaker…ummm…that’s a good question. I don’t really have one that sticks out.
(Steph takes a few more seconds to think)
The Shox…everyone was really hyped on that new technology, with the Shox in the back. I have about ten pairs of those at the house.
CK: Nice. The pair that Vince jumped over Frederic Weis in, right?
Curry: Yeah, exactly, so I used to try and get every color I could.
CK: Playing at a high level in the NBA, what do you look for in a sneaker? Are you a low cut guy? High cut? Are you into the Zoom? Max Air?
Curry: I’m a high-cut guy. I’m a point guard, so I try to have some flexibility in the shoe. You want to be able to move around and feel like you’re not really wearing a shoe, but also have that support where, just in case you roll (your ankle), you’ll still be able to play. That, and overall comfort because you’re playing 82 games, plus practice. I think that’s something people really have to look at, the comfort of the shoe and how much it will last over that long period. I know you can switch out shoes and get new ones, but you try and get comfortable with a pair of shoes and hope they support you.
CK: David Thorpe from ESPN.com compared your game to Steve Nash’s. Growing up, who did you idolize? Who did you want to play like?
Curry: I picked and chose from every player I watched in the NBA, I was always watching games. I’d watch and just pick a move from a point guard like Steve Nash; Reggie Miller and how he used to move without the ball; Mark Jackson used to use his post game, his big body, that kind of stuff. I studied all sorts of different looks. I used to pick and choose and try to increase my skill set by watching (different players). I was basically a student of the game from an early age.
CK: Well said. Last question, who do you think is coming out of the West, who’s coming out of the East, and who’s taking it all this year?
Curry: After last night, it’s sort of up in the air. (The Orlando Magic had just won game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, making the series 3-2 after losing the first three games to the Boston Celtics)
Curry: I’d say…I think the Magic might be able to come back, and be the first team to come back from being down 3-0, so I’ll predict that. I think the Lakers will dominate at home and get to the finals, and then… I’m going to pick LA to win it all.
CK: Haha, got to go with Cali! Steph, thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it.
Big thanks to Foot Locker and Nike for coordinating the event.
-Report and interview from CounterKicks special contributor, Titus Ares
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