This year, Golden State Warriors champion player Stephen Curry had the privilege of hosting ABC’s ESPY Awards.
For the basketball legend, hosting this event was considered “a bucket list-type situation.” Due to the high stake nature of hosting, he did everything in his power to prove he was the man for the job. In an interview with PEOPLE prior to the Awards, Curry shared what he did to prepare.
“I’ve seen all the list of athletes and celebrities who’ve hosted it before, and seen how they’ve come with some fun, some entertainment, stuck to their personalities, and took some chances,” he said, providing context for what others before him have done to show charisma. Thankfully for this year’s host, he had a handful of friends to get advice from.
Curry revealed, “I talked to Drake and Peyton Manning about what the hosting gig is really like, so I’m obviously nervous and excited and all the different emotions.”
And, it seems as though the decision to receive input from Drake and football star Peyton Manning was helpful for the 34-year-old. Throughout his appearance, he was able to lightheartedly joke, like when he roasted LeBron James. In addition, Curry went on to win this year’s ESPYS for Best NBA Player and for Best Record-Breaking Performance.
Stephen Curry and WNBA legends discuss Brittney Griner’s Russian detainment
Perhaps more importantly, he was able to touch base on more serious topics, such as bringing notable WNBA stars on stage to discuss Brittney Griner’s oversea detainment.
Joining Curry on stage, Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith brought awareness to Griner’s status as a prisoner in Russia.
“It’s been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained thousands of miles away from home, away from her family, away from her friends, away from her team,” Diggins-Smith commented. “All throughout that time, we’ve kept her in our thoughts and in our hearts even though we know that ain’t nearly enough to bring her home, y’all.”
The Golden State Warriors added to the conversation, understanding that not being able to communicate with a teammate is undeniably disheartening. “But as we hope for the best, we urge the entire global sports community to continue to stay energized on her behalf,” he relayed. “She’s one of us, the team of athletes in this room tonight and all over the world. A team that has nothing to do with politics or global conflict.”
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