The four-time NBA champion spoke to ET's Kevin Frazier while walking the red carpet at L.A. Live ahead of Thursday's ESPYs and said that when the opportunity to host the ESPYs came up he felt compelled to reach out to the NFL great.
Manning, of course, has previously hosted the ESPYs. Not only that, he's become one of Hollywood's most coveted athletes when it comes to commercials, and his comedic prowess has been on full display during his various appearances on SNL. So, it's easy to see why Curry wanted to reach out to him.
"Peyton was huge," Curry said. "He was one of the first I reached out to when the opportunity kind of came across my radar. He was amazing. He had an unbelievable presence on the stage and the material was amazing. His biggest advice was just embrace it. Be yourself. And that'll carry [through]. Just enjoy it."
Curry had also reached out to another former ESPYs host. Drake. The NBA star told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, and Curry said the rapper told him about his positive experience hosting the event in 2017.
As for what fans should expect when the ceremony kicks off at L.A.'s Dolby Theater, Curry says expect the unexpected.
"I've kept it pretty tight," Curry says. "This is my first time. I'm trying to embrace the moment. There's a little bit of a surprise element."
Such as surprise cameos. Curry just hopes it'll be entertaining, funny, and he hopes fans can see how much fun he's having on the stage.
When asked if he picked his targets specifically during his monologue and elsewhere throughout the broadcast, Curry said, "Absolutely." He added, "When you get the microphone you have to take advantage of the opportunity."
Curry's wife, Ayesha, is in attendance, as is their 10-year-old daughter, Riley, and 7-year-old daughter, Ryan.
"Hopefully they laugh at my jokes," Curry quipped.
Steph Curry took home the ESPY awards for Best NBA Player and Record-Breaking Performance.
The 2022 ESPY Awards air Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.