Following his team’s 110-106 Game 1 win in the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, Steph Curry did something that many NBA players have done before: he brought his child to the podium for his post-game presser – in this case, his daughter, Riley.
And some people – reporters, especially – were not happy about it.
Is this surprising?
“Well, you know what? No.” NBA.com writer Steve Aschburner said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “If you factor in social media and how polarizing everything becomes when people stick out their stances on things, no, I’m not (surprised people were upset). Now, as a working member of the media, do I think it’s a great thing? No, I would like it to be in very limited quantities, but we’ve seen it now several times already and generally these things gain momentum until people are bringing hoards of kids and bushels of puppies up to the podium with them. That’s fine. That’s fine. I know that the NBA has made the post-game podium part of the programming. When we’re out there to ask questions, to do our jobs, to report stories, to cover these things, we’re also there to provide the fodder for that programming.
“My beef with it is that’s the only time you get Curry after that game,” Aschburner continued. “When a guy goes to the podium, he doesn’t talk to reporters before he gets up there unless you have some sort of relationship with him where you might throw him a bone, (and) he doesn’t talk to reporters after he’s up there. So while he’s up there with his cute daughter – again, that’s great, I like kids. But you’re not going to learn some things about the game that you might have otherwise learned. And so if that’s where we’re at, that’s fine. But I just think that it’s professional setting. You don’t bring your kids into a client meeting. You might bring them to work and let them play with a computer terminal or a stapler on Bring Your Kid to Work Day, but you don’t bring them in for the stuff that matters – and this is stuff that matters. It’s not rocket surgery or brain science, but it’s what we do.”
But as stated, what Curry did was nothing new. Was this just the tipping point for whatever reason?
“I think the late hour, the more national attention you get and the later a game is, you’ve got more people fighting deadlines,” Aschburner said. “I think that puts everyone on edge who’s in this business. Even with the Internet and the 24/7 news cycle, you do have people that are trying to get work done quickly and move on. It does slow down the proceedings. I am a little surprised last night versus other times. I have seen a player who really was in position to get asked some critical questions after a mediocre performance or a pivotal failing in a game, and it felt when they brought a kid up to the podium, they were bringing a human shield.”
That wasn’t the case Tuesday – Curry scored 34 points and the Warriors won – but Aschburner feels it sets a less than idealistic precedent.
“I think if this becomes the norm – it’s cute the first time or three or half dozen, but is this what we want to see?” Aschburner asked. “Why not bring grandma? Why not bring whomever? I would prefer they save it for Father’s Day and make it special and let’s just get in, get out. It just seemed like not the right time and place.”