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Curry's All-Star sneakers inspired by college fish-stealing prank

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 2/11/2019 Liz Roscher
a basketball player with a crowd watching: Steph Curry assisted in the theft of a koi fish from a Japanese restaurant in college. Now there’s a sneaker commemorating that prank. (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) © Provided by Oath Inc. Steph Curry assisted in the theft of a koi fish from a Japanese restaurant in college. Now there’s a sneaker commemorating that prank. (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game is a homecoming of sorts for Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry. The game is being played in Charlotte, North Carolina, about a half hour away from Curry’s alma mater Davidson.

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To celebrate Curry returning to North Carolina as an All-Star, Under Armour decided to pay tribute to Curry’s college career… sort of. Behold, the Curry 6 “Coy Fish.”

It may not seem like that neon green shoe has anything to do with Curry or basketball, but there is a connection. According to Under Armour, the concept for the sneaker comes from a prank Curry and his Davidson teammates played in college. Out at a Japanese steakhouse to celebrate Curry’s 21st birthday, the koi fish in the restaurant’s indoor pond caught someone’s eye. You can probably guess what happened after that, but here’s Steph Curry to fill you in anyway:

“We went to a little Japanese steakhouse to celebrate, and decisions were made to jump in the koi fish pond at the restaurant. I was the decoy distracting the hostess while Steve [Rossiter] jumped in and tried to grab one of the fish.”

Why did they want the fish? Was it supposed to be a pet? A future meal? Did they want it just for the thrill of, uh, stealing a fish from a restaurant? Who knows. But Curry and his crew were apparently caught on camera at the steakhouse. The footage made it to head coach Bob McKillop, and he was not happy about what he saw. Everyone involved got punished, including the birthday boy. 

“We were in the gym running sprints for a good two hours,” said Stephen. “And then we had to go back to the steakhouse and stay at the front door for four hours as greeters!”

That is the story Under Armour is celebrating with their new Curry 6 sneaker. It’s named the “Coy Fish” to pay tribute to “the coy spirit that drives his mischievous personality today,” and it’s a play on the name of the fish that started all the trouble. The color is also supposed to bring to mind the vibrant colors of the koi fish, even though koi fish commonly have an orange, silver, and black color combination.

Under Armour can take a little creative license with the color of koi fish, though. Especially since the sneaker is based on an 11-year-old story about college basketball players stealing a fish out of a restaurant koi pond. They could have included stitching that looks like fish scales and fins, which probably would have been too on the nose. Or would it? Sadly, we’ll never know.

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