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Stephen Curry opens up about his uncanny Patrick Mahomes kinship

Stephen Curry opens up about his uncanny Patrick Mahomes kinship

Stephen Curry looked relaxed as he sat back in a chair on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in lower Manhattan, a few hours before he would pour in 29 points to help the Warriors dispatch the Nets on Monday night at the Barclays Center.

The topic of conversation had little to do with basketball. It was about Patrick Mahomes and the uncanny kinship Curry feels with the Chiefs’ superstar quarterback as well as the unmistakable parallels between two most of the most gifted athletes in their respective sports.

When you mention Mahomes, Curry smiles. He smiles not because he’s known Mahomes for much of their lives. They, in fact, met through golf just a few years ago, playing at the American Century Celebrity Championship in Lake Tahoe, a tournament Curry won last summer.

Curry smiles because greatness recognizes and respects greatness.

And there are few players in the NBA greater than Curry and probably no players in the NFL greater than Mahomes, who’s five days away from playing in Super Bowl 2024 and trying to win it for the second consecutive year and third time in the past five seasons.

Patrick Mahomes (left) and Stephen Curry celebrate during Capital One’s The Match VIII on June 29, 2023 in Las Vegas. Getty Images for The Match

The same way Curry is one of the faces of the NBA, Mahomes is one of the faces of the NFL.

“If you know anything about the NFL and you watch games and pay attention to the news cycle, there are certain names that move the needle — and Patrick is obviously at the top of that list,’’ Curry told The Post in an exclusive interview. “I do embrace the responsibility of it in the sense of how you carry yourself and what you give to the game and understanding there’s a timeline on this.

“Eventually, the ball will stop bouncing and we won’t have any games to play. What the game has given me in terms of a reach and platform, I embrace it for sure. I lean into it. I don’t take it for granted. I appreciate that Patrick’s in that same boat.’’

Curry, at age 35 and in his 15th NBA season, also appreciates the similarities between him and Mahomes, who’s 28 and in his seventh NFL season.

Both have rare skill sets that regularly produce otherworldly things on the playing field and court — things that their awed peers dare not even attempt.

Both treat people away from their respective arenas with an approachable class that belies most stars of their ilk and both are incredibly charitable with their time and money behind the scenes when no one’s watching.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Getty Images

Both were raised by professional athletes — Curry’s father, Del, played in the NBA and Mahomes’ father, Pat, pitched in the major leagues, at one time for the Mets.

Both are addicted to golf.

Curry, who called Mahomes a “fierce competitor with a killer instinct,’’ doesn’t trash talk on the basketball court, but said he likes to “poke’’ a bit on the golf course. He still sounded chafed about losing, along with Warriors teammate Klay Thompson, to Mahomes and Travis Kelce in “The Match,’’ a made-for-TV golf match last summer in Las Vegas.

Curry is a plus-1 handicap, Thompson a 15, Mahomes a 7.7 and Kelce an 11.

Warriors star Stephen Curry. AP

“That’s golf, man,’’ Curry said. “We play that match five times, we win four of them. Me and Klay did not see them in a single fairway for the first 10 holes and they won four of those holes.’’

The thing that Curry sees the most similarity between himself and Mahomes — aside from their passion for golf — is the way they approach their respective sports.

“There is a serious joy and appreciation and gratitude and approachability that I’ve seen when I’ve been around him … and that’s the way a lot of people categorize me,’’ Curry said “I would assume, without ever having asked him, that the most fun he has is when he’s out there on the field. He’s fulfilling his purpose. I have a joy when I play, and I’m 15 years in. That’s my oasis and my happiest place.’’

When you watch Curry effortlessly launch those rainbow 3-pointers over taller players on the basketball court and you watch Mahomes control and patrol the pocket and complete those no-look passes, it feels like you’re watching the same athlete in different sports wearing different uniforms.

Patrick Mahomes speaks with the media during Super Bowl week. Getty Images

“I’m a fan of sports like everyone else,’’ Curry said. “I don’t know what it’s like to be behind center in an NFL game. The biggest connection I have is I understand how much work goes into making what he does look effortless, the way he has to prepare his body so he can take some of those hits and be available.

“It takes a lot of work. It’s all about reps and trying stuff and being creative in practice so that when he’s in the game, there’s a data base of, ‘OK, I can get that ball there.’ It’s the same way with me shooting the basketball or passing the ball or dribbling. The creativity kind of oozes out of you.’’

Asked who’d be better at the other’s sport, Curry was at a loss for an answer, because there probably is no true answer.

“I’ve got a decent arm, but I never played quarterback,’’ he said. “I’ve seen [Mahomes’ high school] basketball highlights, and he’s got a legit shot. You can tell he passes the eye test on how he moves on the basketball court. I asked him if he thinks any other athlete from another sport can get under center and complete a pass in the NFL and he adamantly said, ‘No.’

“If they told me I had to play quarterback and lead the team on an 80-yard drive? Hell no. If I told Patrick he had to come in and hit four 3s in an NBA game, I highly doubt that can be done.’’

There’s not a lot these two special athletes and humans cannot do, and therein lies their strongest bond.

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