Curry hosts, wins 2;  Klay and team honored, too

Curry hosts, wins 2; Klay and team honored, too

Stephen Curry was in the spotlight again, but not on the court or the golf course. The Golden State Warriors star hosted Wednesday’s ESPYS on ABC from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Curry was also a two-time winner, taking ESPYs for Best NBA Player and Best Recordbreaking Performance. He was also nominated for Best Athlete, Men’s Sports but that award went to the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.

The Warriors, who last month won their fourth NBA title in eight years, were named Best Team and Curry teammate Klay Thompson won Best Comeback Athlete, bringing Golden State’s ESPYS count to four.

The night in review:

Can’t be the petty king without an iconic send off. Curry closes out the ESPYS with his signature “night-night” taunt.

The 2022 NBA champions walked away with the Best Team ESPY. While on stage, Andre Iguodala apologized for getting team owner Joe Lacob fined $500,000 for his comments while on Iguodala’s podcast “Point Forward.”

Thompson missed nearly two years after tearing his ACL in the 2019 NBA Fianls and then his Achilles in November 2020. In his first season back with the Warriors, he averaged 20.4 points in 32 regular-season games and helped Golden State beat Boston in six games in the Finals. It’s a comeback story fellow nominees Trey Mancini, Diamond DeShields and Joe Burrow couldn’t beat.

In his acceptance speech, Thompson thanked the family of the late Kobe Bryant and fondly recalled watching Bryant play while growing up in Southern California.

Wearing a Brittney Griner jersey, Curry announced the WNBA as the Sports Humanitarian League of the year. Curry, Nneka Ogwumike — a Stanford alum — and Skylar Diggins-Smith all spoke in honor of Griner, urging the audience and all those watching to continue bringing attention to Griner’s imprisonment in Russia and fight for her release.

“We cannot stop fighting for her,” Curry said. “We cannot stop believing for her. And we will not stop hoping for the day we can welcome her home safely.”

Winner of Best Play for her corner kick goal against Australia in the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics, Redding native Megan Rapinoe also used her time on stage to acknowledge Griner’s absence.

On Dec. 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Curry surpassed Ray Allen to become the NBA’s all-time 3-point leader. It took him just 789 games to sink 2,974 threes. For this feat, Curry won the Best Recordbreaking Performance ESPY. Even though he was the host, he wasn’t allowed to present the award to himself.

Eileen Gu won three Olympic medals competing for China in February’s Winter Olympics, though she was born and raised in San Francisco. Famous across China for her career as a model and many endorsements, Gu was embroiled in controversy in the US for competing for her mother’s native country. She took home the ESPY for Best Breakthrough Athlete.

Decked out in a lime green suit, Curry ripped the Celtics and their fans. He also taunted Boston forward Grant Williams, sitting in the audience, telling Williams he could borrow the suit after the show and maybe even a championship ring.

Curry came on stage hot, ready to roast. LeBron James — the first NBA athlete to host the award show — was first up on the chopping block.

The Curry family showed up to the red carpet fitted. They all rocked the same neutral color palette for the cameras.

Kikue Higuchi (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email:; Twitter: @kychiguchi

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