Basketball / Life / Teaching / World Magazine / June 24, 2015

Expectations too great?

From my latest article for

Stephen Curry seems exactly like the kind of guy a kid could look up to. He exhibits faith and character and he values his family. His team, the Golden State Warriors, just won the NBA Championship, overcoming a legendary (no hyperbole) performance from the Cleveland Cavalier’s LeBron James. He is the league’s MVP, one of the most entertaining and unguardable players alive. To top it off, Curry gets paid handsomely for all this but doesn’t flaunt his wealth.

So why in the name of Chris Mullin’s flattop would a Bay Area teacher and lifelong Warriors fan write an open letter asking Curry not to come talk to students?

Matt Amaral teaches at a school made up of mostly underprivileged students. He wants to set a realistic bar for them, to point them on a path to grounded success rather than chasing a pipe dream. His letter, while a bit strident, points out significant things Curry likely would leave unsaid: the amount of training it takes to be an NBA player, the level of coaching he received growing up, the privilege of being an NBA player’s son, access to the best prep teams, etc.

. . .

We live in age of “chase your dreams” and “be anything you set your mind to.” The accepted wisdom of our day hates the kind of thinking Matthew Amaral exhibits. Who is he to stand between students and their dreams?

Who is right? Should we suppress the seemingly unrealistic dreams of others or should we empower them? Is being realistic actually confining and oppressive? Is it more caring to tell people to chase their dreams and point them to the stars (or NBA stars) or direct them toward a less exciting, more sure path?

. . .

Read the full article HERE. is a paid subscription site. You can get 30 days of free access for registering with your email.

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