I don’t mean just anybody, the most casual fans or non-fans, the random passersby. I’ve had colleagues down at the SPT ask me about “Steven” Curry and that’s fine. They sort of know I have a book about Davidson, or him, or something having to do with Davidson or him, and they don’t pretend to be a big fan or an expert or even have a real interest. They’re just wondering how the team is doing or how the book is doing or how I’m doing. They’re just being nice.
I’m not talking about those people.
I’m talking about people like the guy who was doing the sports updates on Raleigh’s 850 the Buzz yesterday afternoon on the last part of my drive up from Tampa and who was talking about the big game at Cameron and how it was a chance to watch Davidson superstar “Stephon” Curry.
I’m talking about people like the guys on ESPN’s telecast last night who -- I’m told -- kept calling him “Stephon.”
I’m talking about the guy in the press conference after the game last night who was trying to sound real smart with his question to McKillop and then dropped a head-shaking “Stephon.”
I don’t get it.
Stephen is one of the most talked-about individuals in all of college basketball right now and THESE are the people who are doing lots of the talking. I’ve been in conversations with people these last few months where I’ve said his name over and over, Stephen, Stephen, STEFF-in, STEFF-in, and then they STILL say “Stephon” back. Are they not listening?
What’s maybe most interesting is that many of the most egregious mispronouncers don’t say “Steven.” It’s as if they know enough to know that it’s not pronounced the “normal” way but not enough to ask how to pronounce it the RIGHT way.
“How do you say your name?”
Wardell Stephen Curry II goes by his middle name and says it the way he says it because that’s the way Wardell Stephen Curry I says it. Dell says it that way because that’s the way his daddy wanted people to say it. Fair enough.
McKillop is the one who started the “Steph” stuff.
For most of his life, though, and to most of the people who know him, Stephen has been Stephen.
“My good friends call me Wardell,” Stephen once told me before smiling kind of sly.
But for the rest of us? Steph is fine. Me? I call him Stephen. I like it. It’s his name. It’s a family name. It’s a name that’s different. It’s a name that I think suits him.
I just wish more people would say it the way it’s supposed to be said.