- David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Despite an early Thursday morning wake-up call for offseason workouts, at least a few members of the Carolina Panthers will stay up late tonight and pull for the Golden State Warriors to close out the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals.
The reason? Point guard Stephen Curry.
The tie between the NBA’s most valuable player and the Panthers has been well documented. Curry said in a recent ESPN The Magazine story that a day spent with quarterback Cam Newton during Carolina’s 2012 training camp played a big role in his growth as a player.
Curry was impressed with how Newton played quarterback like a point guard, but in particular how much fun Newton had juggling his career and the pressures that come with stardom.
Here’s that story if you missed it.
Since then, there’s been an ongoing lovefest between the Panthers and Curry, who went to high school in Charlotte and played collegiately a stone's throw away at Davidson. Much of it has been captured on social media.
Curry was on the sideline for Carolina’s NFC divisional playoff game at Seattle in January as you can see by this tweet.
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) January 11, 2015
Carolina coach Ron Rivera presented Curry with a customized Panthers jersey for the NBA star's 27th birthday during a West Coast trip in March.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 15, 2015
Curry returned the favor by sending Rivera a Warriors shirt last week.
— Ron Rivera (@RiverboatRonHC) May 21, 2015
Newton was courtside at a Golden State game three weeks ago and tweeted this:
— Cameron Newton (@CameronNewton) May 4, 2015
Newton said last month during one of his foundation events that he stayed up late the night before watching Curry help send the Warriors to overtime and a win against New Orleans.
"He is ridiculous," Newton said. "I was looking at the game last night and I was watching and kind of foreshadowing him making the shot way before he made the shot. When I saw the game coming to eight points, I was, like, it’s only a matter of time. Anthony Davis is a big talent, but when somebody has the truth like Steph has, it’s fun to watch."
You can bet Newton and a few teammates will have fun watching Curry tonight.