Stephen Curry went from just another NBA player to the NBA player almost overnight. And while, being one of the most recognizable faces in North America is exciting for Curry, it’s difficult for the guy who has to guard the unguardable guard.
Sports Illustrated published a feature on Curry’s bodyguard, Ralph Walker. During the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto, Curry went to the mall. The crowd of nearly 2,000 overran hired security, and so, Walker had to get the Golden State Warriors guard out of there.
Sports Illustrated reports: “Walker had to lead Steph on a mad dash through the aisles of a clothing store, running low—“almost like I’m doing a raid on a house” says Walker—to escape without being mobbed (apparently, Steph found it all very exciting).”
Due to incidents like these, Curry can’t go anywhere alone and Walker’s become part of the family. Even a Starbucks trip is a trip for both Curry and Walker. The security guard sleeps on the same floor as Curry at hotels. The only exception is dining. Curry invites Walker to eat with him but Walker can’t monitor the room correctly if he sits with Curry.
A second guard was hired by the team so Walker could focus more on Curry.
They say of their job: “We’re the players’ conscience when it’s not quite functioning.”
Curry is one of two Warriors that Walker knows will always sign autographs, along with Klay Thompson. “Even if we pull into a city at 2 a.m. on the road, Steph and Klay gonna sign.” Walker says his job can keep him up until 4:00am.
When Curry won the MVP award last season, he thanked Walker, which made other NBA security guards jealous.
Says Walker: “Other security guys tell me that put us on the map. That they wish their guys would do that.”