Even when the Golden State Warriors take on the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, something will be missing.
It was noticeably absent Thursday during the Warriors’ 120-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 and for the first time in the six years Steph Curry has played in the NBA Finals.
His parents, once a staple of the NBA Finals televised on viewer shots, no longer sit next to each other.
“Obviously they were very compelling,” said Jimmy Moore, who retired last year as ESPN’s director of the NBA Finals after 15 years as director of broadcasts. “Steph Curry and his family made an impression on television. There is so much news out there right now that is negative and bad. Having something positive to connect with just felt good and I like that about it.
“You want that happy ending.”
There will be no happy ending.
Sonya Curry, 56, and Dell Curry, 57, divorced in November after 33 years of marriage. Each accused the other of infidelity.
Less than three weeks later, Curry broke the 2.974 at Madison Square Garden. Ray Allen’s career NBA record for 3-pointers.
His parents were not side by side.
“I had to make sure I was broken up with both of them at that moment, and it wasn’t just this whole thing,” Curry later told The Ringer. “That’s how I go about it. Because it’s challenging.”
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Curry also said, “I could get angry and say, ‘You guys screwed this up.’ I could have this approach. But it will be an acknowledgment from both of you in terms of how you raised me. I owe the peace I have within me to you.”
Divorce records spell out their acrimonious split.
Sonya Curry filed for divorce in June 2021, saying she was “provoked and justified” by Dell Curry’s misconduct.
She said Dell engaged in “illegal sexual misconduct” with various women during her marriage and, according to the divorce records, the infidelity was known to the parties’ family and close friends.
The story goes on
Dell and Sonya Curry watch a playoff game between the Warriors and the Blazers.
In response, Dell Curry, former NBA player, accused Sonya Curry of having an affair with Steven Johnson, a former bottleneck with the New England Patriots. According to the divorce documents, Dell Curry said Sonya Curry began the affair during their marriage and “lied every time she cheated.”
According to the divorce documents, Dell Curry also said that Sonya had lived with Johnson, 56, in his 11,674-square-foot Bristol, Tenn., home since she and Dell Curry split in March 2020. Sonya would not receive spousal maintenance from the beginning of the cohabitation.
Sonya Curry denied living with Johnson and said she lives alone in several places because Dell Curry refused to let her live in their Charlotte home. She said she is “currently in a dating relationship,” which began months after the parties agreed to a legal separation.
The Currys and Steven Johnson attended Virginia Tech together in the 1980s when Dell Curry was a star on the basketball team, Sonya Curry played volleyball, and Steven played on the football team. Bobby Beecher, one of Curry’s teammates at Virginia Tech, said Dell Curry and Johnson knew each other because they both lived in the athletic homes.
Johnson, who was married to a former Miss Virginia USA before the couple’s divorce in 2011, declined to comment when reached by USA TODAY Sports.
Dell Curry did not respond to interview requests. Sonya Curry declined to speak about the HarperOne, editor of her recently released memoir, Fierce Love.
Stephen Curry with his mother Sonya in 2019.
Over the years it’s been easy to find them together, often with their children – Steph, Seth and their youngest, daughter Sydel.
Like the week of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, Sonya Curry took a half-court shot and she jumped into Dell Curry’s arms for joy. Or in 2020, when they teamed up to host the Raising Fame podcast.
They were superbly qualified, having by that point raised a consistent All-Star, another NBA player, and a daughter who played volleyball at Elon University in North Carolina. But Sonya Curry’s memoir offers details of struggles, stress, and achievements in her marriage.
When they first got pregnant before getting married, they decided to abort the baby. In 1987, pregnant for the second time, they planned another abortion.
They were parked outside a proposed maternity clinic and minutes away from an appointment before deciding to keep the baby, according to the memoir. They named the baby Wardell Stephen Curry II, better known as Steph.
After Dell Curry joined the Charlotte Hornets in 1988, their marriage suffered.
“Dell is gone,” wrote Sonya Curry. “Travelling with the team. He seems to be away more than at home. When he’s home we seem to pass each other without seeing each other. miss each other We don’t seem to occupy the same space at the same time. I don’t feel strange. I feel distant. Cut. Alone. Even if he’s here.’”
In 2020, during the first episode of Raising Fame, Sonya Curry revealed that her married life wasn’t perfect.
“Also, as with our marriage, we had challenges that we didn’t always hide from our kids because … there were teaching moments and they don’t need to know all the details. But we haven’t been hiding a lot of things because we don’t want them to think everything’s rosy and out there and then it hits them in the face.”
During the 2015-2019 NBA Finals, Palo Alto natives Mike and Ellen Wallau sat on row 7, section 101 — one row ahead of Sonya and Dell Curry.
“Good, normal people and always very kind and nice,” said Mike Wallau. “The first time they sat there, we gave them high fives.”
That year, the Warriors played Game 1 of the Finals at the Chase Center, the team’s new home arena. Dell Curry was spotted near the pitch before the game.
Sonya was nowhere to be seen.
“I think it’s a good example that no one is exempt from the problems that we all face in life,” said Mike Wallau. “And that it certainly might seem like other people’s lives are so perfect, but I really think life is an inside job and you can’t rely on what it looks like on the outside.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steph Curry’s parents Dell and Sonya both claim they were unfaithful in the divorce