The Golden State Warriors, with the NBA's best record already under their belts, didn't have a lot of reason to be excited about Monday night's penultimate regular-season game against the Utah Jazz -- except for a very special guest in their midst.
Brody Stephens, an 8-year-old leukemia patient who's crazy about basketball and even crazier about Stephen Curry, had been invited to travel from his New Palestine, Indiana, home to be part of this game with Curry and the Warriors.
— Jason Stephens (@JStephens_1) April 10, 2017
Curry first met Stephens in November when the Warriors were in Indiana to play the Pacers. Then, on Christmas, Stephens got a video message from Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who invited Stephens and his family to come see the Warriors play on their home court.
And Kerr wasted no time getting the young man involved in the game-day routine, introducing him at the start of the coach's pregame meeting with reporters.
"Before we get started, I want to welcome Brody Stephens and his family," Kerr said before bringing Stephens up to join him on the podium. "Brody is a huge Warriors fan and a huge Steph Curry fan. We met him in Indianapolis this year when we played the Pacers."
— Jason Stephens (@JStephens_1) November 20, 2016
Kerr added: "He and his family have flown out to watch the game tonight. He's about to go and watch Steph go work out, which would be way more exciting than this. But while we're waiting I figured we would bring him up here and get the full Warriors experience."
Stephens took in the game from a prime seat not far from the Warriors bench, but not before huddling with the players pregame and tossing passes to them in the layup line.
Stephens, who is rarely without a basketball of his own and plays every chance he gets, is battling leukemia for a second time, after beating it as an infant.
He has become a bit of a celebrity in NBA circles, befriending many players and often getting messages of support from them, including LeBron James when Stephens was too sick to make a planned outing to a Cavaliers-Pacers game.
But Curry, who often wears his BrodyStrong bracelet, is Stephens' favorite, his hospital room adorned with everything from a Curry pillowcase to an autographed No. 30 Curry jersey from his college days at Davidson.
Of course, having famous friends means Stephens sometimes has to help someone else realize a dream. Not long after Curry's visit in November, another friend stopped by to pick up a Curry-autographed jersey that Stephens promised to get for him -- Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
— Jason Stephens (@JStephens_1) November 30, 2016