Back in 2018, football icon Neymar Jr disclosed to Stephen Curry that the PSG superstar was nervously shaking before meeting only three legends – Didi, Michael Jordan and the Warriors MVP himself.
Meeting your role model or a global superstar or an icon is a happy feeling for any fan in the world. It is several fans’ life-long dream to meet their favourite actor or athlete or musician. However, people often forget that megastars themselves are also left in awe when they meet celebrities who they look up to.
This is a similar case between basketball legend Stephen Curry and eminent footballer Neymar Jr. Back in an interview in 2018, the Brazilian athlete sat down for an interview with “The Players’ Tribune” alongside Golden State Warriors sharpshooter. During the interview, the Paris Saint-Germain star revealed that Steph was one of the only three celebrities who had gotten Neymar all shaken up in awe before meeting them. The other two? Famous Brazilian comedian Didi (Antônio Renato Aragão), and the GOAT Michael Jordan himself.
Back in 2016, when GSW was amidst their intense NBA Finals clash against LeBron James and co, Neymar had visited Oracle Arena for Game 2 to watch Chef Curry play. The 2-time MVP decided to give the then-Barcelona forward an interesting game to remember as he ended up with 18 points and 9 rebounds in a 110-77 blowout win. And after the game, the two legends met up for a brief while exchanging jerseys. During that little meet and greet, the then-24-year old footballer was visibly nervous meeting the 6-foot-3 guard.
Neymar and Stephen Curry discuss the exact moment they realized that they wanted to pursue their respective crafts for a living
In that same interview, both the renowned athletes were asked to reveal the exact moment that they realized when they wanted to pursue their respective sports for a living. The 7-time NBA All-Star spoke about his moment first:
“That moment for me, when I knew basketball was going to be my life … I was six years old, playing in a rec league in North Carolina, where I grew up. And there was probably 15 people in the stands. There was a two-on-one fast break and I had the ball. And the defender came over to guard me. And instead of like making normal a chest pass or bounce pass, or a regular layup… I like jumped in the air, and then did like this 360 behind-my-back pass.”
“It was right on target, and my teammate, he laid it up. And all 15 fans in the crowd went crazy. And, obviously, it was pretty muted. But that was the moment that my creativity kind of came out. And I knew there was going to be that type of reaction. So, I knew at that point that basketball was fun for me and I loved to do it, so … that was it.”
Immediately after Steph, Neymar spoke about his incidents:
“I had two moments when I was a little boy, three years old. When my mom asked me what kind of present I wanted, and I started running, crossed the street and I chose a football.”
“The second moment, when I was six, seven years old, when Santos won a championship. And I went with my father to celebrate with all the fans and I saw all the players walk by us in a special car, a carnival-like car, and I waved to them, saying goodbye. After these two moments I said to myself, I want to be a footballer.”