Stephen Curry Spends Entirety Of Celebrity Golf Practice Round Playing Pokemon Go
STATELINE, Nev. -- Breaking: Stephen Curry has captured a Bulbasaur.
The NBA MVP is at the Lake Tahoe American Century Championships celebrity golf tournament this week, and actually arrived a day early for practice rounds (the event begins in earnest on Friday). But his mind is not on golf.
During Wednesday's practice round, Curry kept his face buried in his cell phone. I followed him for a few holes beginning at No. 10. On 12, I asked him what he was doing. "Pokemon Go," he said, without a hint of misdirection.
Of course his love of the new national pastime may just be an excuse to block out the noise.
This is Curry's first Tahoe Celebrity Tournament since becoming NBA MVP (he sat out last year's event). And what a difference: Curry has always been popular here, but now there's a giant crush of humanity wherever he goes. Curry jerseys number more than the grains of sand on the nearby beach at Lake Tahoe (the 17th and 18th fairways are right near the water).
On No. 10, a huge gallery of fans began chanting "Curry! Curry!" and "MVP!" and the masses galloped after him as he was driven to his ball down the fairway. From then on, he eschewed teeing off on some holes where the crowds were the most boisterous.
"It's totally different, for sure," Curry told SportsGrid. "I enjoy it. I mean, last year -- or my first time here I definitely could go from hole to hole with ease. A couple of years ago it was a nice reception, a nice gallery on every hole I played.
"But even yesterday and today, it's night and day this year. I enjoy it. The good thing is I haven't really gotten nervous, which I mean obviously it's practice round; today was the pro-am."
"But I feel like, having been here three times, I kind of understand how to bottle your emotions a little bit," Curry said. "But I enjoy that atmosphere, because you play golf all the time but you don't get to play in front of this many people and feel the energy of the crowd.
"You hit a bad shot, they boo; you hit a good shot, they cheer you. It's awesome. So I love it."
— Jerry Hoffman (@jh12sports) July 20, 2016
Curry is playing with his father Dell as part of this threesome, and the Warriors' Andre Iguodala is also somewhere on the course. Alex Smith is also here, as is Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Peterson, Jerry Rice, Carson Palmer and Chipper Jones.
But to give an idea of what we're really talking about, you've also got your Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano and Rob Riggle. The biggest draw next to Curry? There are huge crowds following Justin Timberlake.
You've also got your gratuitous Charles Barkley, Jim Harbaugh and Roger Clemens, among a host of others.
Steph Curry has a press conference scheduled for 4 p.m. ET, (see the live stream right here) so we'll report back on that. UPDATE: Curry is currently on the 17th hole. Press conference ETA 1:20 PT.
BREAKING: Barkley has plagiarized his swing from one of those roadside inflatable waving tube men.
BREAKING: Stephen Curry has captured an Onix.
Photos: SportsGrid; Tim Parsons, Tahoe Onstage.
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