IN THE signature-shoe industry, where Nike still sets the pace and Adidas has surged, point guard Steph Curry is trying to lead an Under Armour charge. The Crossover's Jarrel Harris talked with Curry about his newest sneaker, the Curry 4 (below)—whose minimal design and knit base has drawn rave reviews—and his "sneaker beef" with teammate Kevin Durant. For the full interview, visit si.com/thecrossover.
SI: Did you ever get upset reading the critiques of some of your earlier models?
SC: No, but you obviously want to make the best shoe possible. You want something that is versatile, but you also know that you can't please everyone.
SI: You broke the Curry 4 out during the NBA Finals. What was the strategy behind that?
SC: It was to capitalize on a cool moment. The 4 wasn't released until October, but we had the opportunity to debut it in the Finals (above), and for me, getting back to the mountaintop and winning in them, it was a dope moment that turned some heads.
SI: It feels as if you had a lot more input on these. How was the designing process?
SC: It was the first opportunity I got to inspire a shoe from the ground up. When I sat down with designer Kort Neumann and his sketchbook, I gave him my preferences and told him what I wanted—lightweight, form-fitting, traction. All of the things I feel make me a better player on the court.
SI: A lot of people made it a big deal of a brewing sneaker rivalry between you and Durant. Is there a sneaker war in the NBA?
SC: Don't get me wrong: Everybody wants to have the hottest shoe. That's why you are in the business. But it doesn't get in the way of our personal relationship and what we do on the floor. I'll look at his shoes, and he looks at mine. We'll crack jokes on them all of the time.
SI: In the end, what do you want people to remember about your signature line?
SC: That I shocked the shoe game.
THEY SAID IT
"HE DOES NOT WANT TO BOMB ANYBODY. HE DOES NOT. AND I'M TELLING YOU STRAIGHT FROM MY MOUTH."
NBA legend and Hall of Famer, on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, his "friend for life," while in Beijing to stump for a friendly basketball game between North Korea and Guam.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
An online petition urging Oklahoma to erect a statue of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield planting the school flag on the Ohio State field—an action for which the QB apologized—had more than 8,000 signatures by Monday.