I’m not quite sure when I first picked up on it, and it’s quite possible you haven’t yet, but I started seeing people comment, “look at Curry man” (no capitalization of the first word, no comma, for thumb-typing speed, probably) on any livestream Stephen Curry did early on during this pandemic, such as the first longer-form IG Live he did with his wife, Ayesha Curry, while they were randomly doing stuff at home:
I googled the phrase, found Twitter @-replies with clips of some young kid, searched on YouTube and found that the originator of the meme is someone who goes by the name of FlightReacts and has over 2.3 million subscribers on YouTube. Apparently, “Flight” (as he seems to be referred to by social media commenters) has been offering his reactions to various NBA highlights for quite some time now, and is an aspiring rapper.
There’s some evidence that, even before Curry broke his hand and had a long hiatus from any NBA action, Flight’s been yapping about Curry as “inspirational” during older highlights. But it was definitely Steph’s return last month versus the Toronto Raptors, that really sparked the meme, when he would repeatedly quip, “Look at Curry, man.” Then a few moments later, he’d add a, “So inspirational!”
So every time Curry goes on Instagram for a livestream, or even when, say, the NBA streams a replay of one of his old games, sure enough you can see dozens of people commenting, “Look at Curry man,” often followed by someone else adding, “so inspirational,” or both of those phrases together.
It’s even gotten to a point where Twitterers will post an @ reply with just the word, “LOOK,” then the next reply (threaded on Twitter) someone else responds with, “AT,” and, well, essentially the meme is stretched into a fun string of four replies by random people.
After finally responding to the meme in the NBA livestream where Steph hosted a quiz show of sorts to various other NBA players such as Damion Lee and brother Seth Curry:
The funny thing is, Flight even had a reaction to Steph’s reaction, which was priceless, as he’s shown rewinding the video to play it, “Five more times,” then after that, “Two more times.”
Up until a week-and-a-half ago, Curry was still okay with it, talking about how he knows about the meme but hasn’t gotten a chance to meet its creator yet (unfortunately he didn’t explicitly shout out Flight’s name), on Seth’s buddy Chris Strachan’s video Q&A. Incidentally, Steph addressed the Maverick Carter comments about his defense (or lack thereof) and did Drake’s Toosie Slide on that one.
But by now, Steph seems to have grown weary of the meme, saying it is hard to live up to. In the latest livestream sponsored by Chase on Saturday morning, they had the comments turned off.
Alas, Curry can’t help himself. Deep down inside, he knows he really is inspirational, and he came through in the biggest way again for all 2020 graduates. Asked to give a commencement speech to those grads deprived of the traditional walk and ceremonies as one of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Steph once again pulled off an amazingly inspiring speech that carried the same energy throughout its entire twelve minutes.
Curry referenced the Bob McKillop anecdote where his coach at Davidson University threw Steph a white towel during training and said he could quit if he wanted to. Obviously, it was a motivational tool to make Curry stronger and more resilient, both mentally and physically.
And just when you thought that was enough of a confidence boost, he added another five minutes of motivational talk, all the while reading expertly from a teleprompter — you wonder if it was Riley or Ryan or the both of them holding it up, as I noticed Ayesha was posting Instagram stories of her working out shortly beforehand.
To think of all the time and energy, as well as the near- flawless, career-politician-like execution he put in, truly makes him more “Saint Wardell” than anything else, to me.
To top it all off, Curry put the Class of 2020 on the final pedestal by saying, “I’m rooting for you guys like a die-hard true fan, 4th quarter, final shot. Shoot your shot. Take the shot, make or miss. Live with it.”
Serena Williams did her speech before Steph and Kevin Hart followed after, but you can watch just the Curry one here on our IGTV. Here is the entire #ShowMeYourWalk celebration, as delivered on the Chase Bank YouTube channel:
Thank you for sharing this video. I'm a non-walking graduating senior (University of Alabama at Birmingham, degree in Accounting) and I now feel like I got a little bit of commencement.