‘Nervous' Steph asked Drake for ESPYS advice, has surprise in store


Steph Curry will take his television hosting experience to new heights on Wednesday when he graces the stage as ESPYS emcee, and it turns out preparing for the big event is much different than getting ready for a basketball game.

ESPN announced Curry as the award show’s host just a couple of weeks after the 34-year-old earned NBA Finals MVP, helping the Warriors overcome the Boston Celtics to win their fourth championship in eight seasons.

At the time, Curry called the hosting honor a “privilege.” 

But the Warriors star recently spoke to PEOPLE and shared that he had to seek some A-list advice ahead of the gig, which he described as “a bucket list-type situation.” 

“I’ve seen all the list of athletes and celebrities who’ve hosted it before, and seen how they’ve come with some fun, some entertainment, stuck to their personalities and took some chances,” Curry told PEOPLE.

Wednesday won’t be Curry’s first foray into television or hosting. He produces and appeared on ABC’s golf competition “Holey Moley,” and he and wife Ayesha Curry host the HBO Max celebrity couple game show “About Last Night.”

Still, a little guidance from ESPYS hosts who have come before him never hurt.

“I talked to Drake and Peyton Manning about what the hosting gig is really like, so I’m obviously nervous and excited and all the different emotions,” Curry told PEOPLE.

Drake hosted the award show in 2014, while Manning was the master of ceremonies in 2017. The rapper and Curry are known friends, and Drake even placed a massive bet on the Warriors to win the 2022 NBA Finals. Curry and Manning, on the other hand, were golf partners during “The Match” in 2020.

Curry also revealed to PEOPLE that there might be some surprises in store for viewers tuning in on Wednesday, including a potential appearance from Ayesha. 

“I don’t want to give away too many surprises,” Curry said. “We might try to include [Ayesha] in some of the skits or some of the on-stage stuff … we’ll see.”

Aside from any on-stage surprises, Curry is hoping to take home the ESPY for Best NBA Player but is up against some stiff competition in Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić and Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Dončić.

Curry is also nominated for Best Male Athlete and Best Record-Breaking Performance, and he previously won Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player in 2015. Curry’s teammate Klay Thompson is up for best comeback athlete this year, and the Warriors are nominated for best team.

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The other member of Golden State’s dynastic core, Draymond Green, isn’t nominated for any awards, but the NBA veteran and podcast host could be in the running to lead next year’s ESPYS broadcast after a truthful endorsement from Curry.

“Oh, Draymond for sure,” Curry told PEOPLE of the NBA player he would nominate to host the show. “It would be a seven hour show.”

The ESPYS will take place on Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT and air live on ABC.

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