JTA – Jews looking for a genuine interest in the final games of the NBA Finals this year can make themselves known now with a dizzying wardrobe selection from Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry.
No, Curry is not Jewish. But during Friday’s post-game press conference after Game 4, after the Warriors’ victory, he wore a Hebrew sweatshirt for the cameras – the one that fits his own Hebrew tattoos.
Twitter sleuth with eagle eyes Emma Goss, a reporter for Jewish News Agency partner J. The Jewish News of Northern California, caught the hoodie. It contains the phrase “האהבה לא תבל לעולם אך”, which translates to “love never fails” – a reference to the New Testament passage 1 Corinthians 13:8 (although the Hebrew letters are reversed). It is also one of only two Hebrew tattoos that Curry shares with his wife.
The sweatshirt also features Curry’s wrist, clearly adorned with the same Hebrew tattoo. Curry’s second Hebrew tattoo is simply his last name translated into Hebrew: “קרי”.
Curry’s fascination with the language may be due to his mother, Sonya Curry, who told reporters in 2015 that she had “just been spiritually transformed” since a previous visit to Israel. Sonia Curry, who also has a Hebrew tattoo, said she wanted to learn Hebrew because it was the language that Jesus spoke (most likely he spoke Aramaic, although he probably understood Hebrew), and added that she wanted to read Torah in Hebrew.
Of course, a randomly translated phrase from the New Testament is hardly a gateway to meaningful Jewish wisdom. But there are other Jewish connections in the NBA Finals series between the Warriors and the Boston Celtics.
The art featured has a deep meaning and highlights the two tattoos defenders see when @StevenCurry30 shooting on the court: “Love never fails” and “Trust – commitment – care.”
— SC30 Inc. (@SC30inc) June 14, 2022
For Boston, that includes a coach and Hall of Famer. Red Auerbach (died 2006)the son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant who is generally regarded as the greatest coach in the history of basketball.
The Warriors have a Jewish-Ukrainian immigrant and a Hall of Famer coach. Eddie Gottlieb (died 1979)played a leading role in bringing the team to the Bay Area from Philadelphia.
Two of the NBA’s biggest honors are named after these two Jewish basketball pioneers. The league’s Rookie of the Year award is awarded with the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy and Coach of the Year receives the Red Auerbach Trophy.
Curry’s Warriors lead the Celtics three games to two ahead of Game 6 on Thursday night. If the Warriors win, it will be the team’s fourth championship since 2015.