Warriors Feature

Steph, Warriors stars offer fatherhood advice to a first-time dad

NBC Universal, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The second line began turning red before my wife even could turn her back, too nervous to witness the results. A positive test. And no, this isn’t a story about COVID-19.

It's one about love, and realizing your lives forever will be changed for the better in one unique, unforgettable moment -- a sight that makes your mouth open wider and your eyes grow bigger simultaneously in sync.

As a natural night owl who frequently gets home from my job covering the Warriors well past 1 a.m., and falls asleep closer to 2 or 3 a.m., being woken up 20 minutes after sunrise is a struggle. So, yes, being told to come to the bathroom while rubbing rust off my eyes was a bit confusing, even a bit annoying.

Until I saw the scene, and the smile on my wife’s face.

Not one, not two, not three, but four positive pregnancy tests were laid out. We hugged, we kissed and we said, “Oh my God” -- the happy kind -- over and over again. Falling back asleep wasn't about to happen.

My longest best friend and his incredible wife had welcomed their first child into the world the previous day. April 25, 2023 became a day always ingrained in my mind and heart alike, just like Dec. 18, 2023, when my wife gave birth to our first baby, and we got to hold our daughter, knowing we’ll never want to let go. 

The last year-and-a-half -- and longer than that if I’m not kidding myself -- has required far too many trips either visiting, taking or picking up one of my parents at a hospital. It has been a nightmare, and I wish that was hyperbole. The beeps and sounds of machines don’t leave you, nor does how the air feels in hallways and waiting rooms. Words can’t be typed to match those emotions. 

Now it’s time to turn what has been a place of despair into a home base that births life, the same place I was born more than 32 years ago. That’s the beauty in having the right wife beside you -- someone whose strength as a mother has shined well before any test results. 

And then our daughter arrived on her own schedule, 12 days early, giving us an exact window into what our world forever will be. 

The above was written ahead of time, thinking she would be born closer to her due date, Dec. 30, turning what we thought would be a New Year’s gift into a Christmas surprise. Of course, I fell asleep on the couch the night before, coming home from our NBC Sports Bay Area studios in San Francisco for the Warriors’ road win over the Portland Trail Blazers and crashed while working on a Brandin Podziemski feature story.

The last eight words I wrote were from a conversation with Brandin's father, John, which were, “That’s just the kind of kid he was.” Now we know what kind of person Gemma is: One that will wake you up in an instant, three hours of sleep and all, make you drive through a rain storm on the way to the hospital, put your pizza down and get into scrubs once it was determined it’s time to change course and get ready for a C-Section, another reminder of my wife’s resilience – the first example of their similarities.

I’ve asked family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and maybe even strangers to share advice for a first-time father. Why not ask the fathers -- and even a grandpa -- who I’m around for the majority of a calendar year? I’ll leave you with the advice I received from Warriors players and coaches, knowing everything will be terrifyingly, perfectly different when I’m back with them in April.

Until then, it’s time to be a Girl Dad. Can’t wait.

Steph Curry

"The biggest surprise is you don't ever remember what you used to do with your free time. I thought about it really hard like a year into it, and I still don't know how I was so inefficient with my off-hour time. Kids, they keep you on your toes. That change in routine is nuts. You guys got to remove yourself from the equation. 

“And my advice is to take as many pictures and videos as possible, because every stage is really dope. Even the long nights and all that, everybody says you'll miss them, and it's because every stage is so cool, so try to stay in the moment as much as you can."

Steve Kerr

"You know, it's terrifying and you have no idea what you're doing and you figure it out. You can read all those books, or try to, but the reality is that little girl will come out and you will love her more than anything else in the world, and you will do everything to protect her and to take care of her, and you're going to do that your whole life. It's just going to come naturally, and it's the most amazing thing ever."

Draymond Green

"Biggest surprise for a first-time father is understanding that you have zero control. I think that, as a man, we feel like we're in control of things, like we got everything handled. And so I think, No. 1, is understand that you have zero control. I think No. 2 is understanding how supportive you need to be of your lady, as well as your child. I think that's No. 2. And then I think the third thing, and most importantly, is just trying to be present. Because, man, it happens so fast. 

“Like one day you got to hold the baby's head up, and then the next day, the baby's swinging her head all around. It's out of control. I think just being present, because everything at that point -- it happens so fast. All of the sudden, the baby's sitting up, and you're like, 'Yo, where in the hell did the time go?' I think just really being present in those moments is everything."

Andrew Wiggins

"I would say patience. Patience is a big thing with children, with kids, because they want to express themselves and socialize and tell you what they can't do. Sometimes that turns to crying. They might not know what's happening or what's going on, so that's why I say just patience. Patience and taking care of them. Just being there is the most important, because they grow up really, really fast."

Chris Paul

"Do you travel a lot? You know what, my biggest advice to tell you the truth, would be to take a lot of pictures. Take a lot of pictures. And mine are older now, but try to make sure they always, always know what you do. Yeah, I try. My son's here now. He's in there [the weight room] right now doing the electric slide. So first-time father, yeah, take a lot of pictures. 

"Make some voice notes and stuff like that. Biggest thing you got is memories, because it goes by fast." 

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