Stephen Curry broke the hearts of Heat fans last night. Miami held two late leads of 106-104 and 108-107 in the final two minutes. Both times, Curry pulled the Warriors back ahead with three-point bombs (one from 27 feet, the other from 26 feet).
Curry had to be brave to take those shots. Then he encouraged Shawn Kennedy to do the same.
Kennedy is a 4-year-old from Niagara Falls, New York. Like many kids, Curry is his idol. Unlike most kids, Kennedy suffers from a rare brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine giloma.
Niagara Falls resident Mike Esposito, a long-time acquaintance of Warriors coach Steve Kerr through basketball, figured out how to put a smile on Kennedy's face.
"I just read a couple months ago that Shawn's idol was Steph Curry," Esposito said, according to the AP. "I emailed Steve and within an hour, half-an-hour, he emailed back and said 'We've got you.'"
Esposito and the Kennedy Family hopped on a plane to Miami. Before Wednesday night's game started, Curry met Kennedy in the locker room. Curry introduced Shawn and his brother to members of the reigning world champions. Kerr popped in, as well.
As a parting gift, Curry signed the shoes he used for warm-ups. The MVP scripted, "Keep being brave," on Shawn's new kicks.
"I didn't expect anything like this," said Nicole Vathy, Shawn's mother. "He's going to go home and talk about this all day. He really is. He's not going to stop talking about it."
Curry dropped 42 points with 7 assists and 7 rebounds in a 118-112 Golden State victory. Along with the two late bombs, Curry drained a 40-foot buzzer beater.
This was a good night for Stephen Curry and Shawn Kennedy.