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IN 2007, WHILE trapping on a press, Davidson sophomore Stephen Curry took an elbow in the kisser from The Citadel's Jon Brick. A decade later, Brick, a product designer in San Francisco, recalls the play that launched the biggest story in NBA oral history since MJ's tongue ...
"We were taught to rip through the trap with the elbow and shoulder," said Brick. "When Curry came up, I did the move and caught him right in the mouth. I never thought about the play becoming a key role in anything; that's just basketball."
Steph got seven stitches at halftime.
"I actually still have the scar. I got fitted for a mouthpiece that next day, and I've been wearing one ever since." Steph Curry to The Press-Democrat
Lots of athletes wear mouthguards, but Curry is the master of mastication. Sure, chewing them is disgusting, but it's crucial to his game.
Steph uses about 12 mouthguards per season, swapping out every 6 to 10 games.
70,000,000: Sport Science's estimated number of bacterial microbes on Curry's mouthguard, seven times more per square inch than on a kitchen sponge.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Curry shoots free throws better when he's chewing on his mouthguard. Over the past two regular seasons, he made 92% of his free throws when chewing on the mouthguard, compared to 89% when he kept the mouthguard in place. He also increased the amount of time he chewed on his mouthpiece to 85% of his '15-16 free throw tries--up 21% from '14-15.
"It's like chewing gum or turning up the volume on a favorite song. It offers a rhythm unique to him." Jeffrey L. Brown, Harvard psychologist
Game 6, 2016 NBA Finals: the mouthguard's shining moment. Fouling out with four minutes left, Steph sent his mouthguard flying, inadvertently hitting the courtside son of a Cavs owner. We asked Sport Science to analyze Steph's final heave of the game. Let's just say: We're not sure how much saliva flew through the air, but that's about all we don't know.
In 2.6 seconds, the time between the ref's whistle and Curry's windup, he could catch and release six 3-pointers.
At peak angular velocity, Steph's arm rotated at 1,650 degrees per second during the throw--46 percent faster than LeBron James' arm during a typical tomahawk jam.
Steph threw his mouthguard at 49.4 mph--three times faster than the average dart thrown by a pro.
3.18: The lateral margin of error, in degrees, for Steph to hit that fan. Release half an inch to the left and he'd have hit Kyrie Irving.
Steph's mouthguard has taken on a life of its own off the court, taking over social media and making the rounds on late-night TV.
There are at least 35 Twitter accounts dedicated to Curry's mouthguard.
Fam, I'm a mouthguard.... How do I tweet without fingers! Lol
- Curry's Mouthguard™ (@30s_mouthguard) April 28, 2015
There have been a lot of trade rumors going on about me, I am currently committed to Steph's mouth. #nba
- Curry's mouth Guard (@RealMouthguard) June 26, 2016
$3,190: The amount a used Curry mouthguard sold for at auction on Aug. 21. A fan allegedly found the piece, engraved with Curry's name and number, near the Warriors bench after a game.
$25,000: The estimated value of Curry's Game 6 mouthguard by SCP Auctions, the same California-based auction house that sold the other mouthguard.
"It's a very unsanitary process. I'm surprised my wife kisses me after games the way that goes." Steph Curry on Jimmy Kimmel Live