I watched about 15 minutes of an NBA game Sat night. I still can’t believe what I saw…..
As oft-noted, I watch “The NBA” about as often as I watch The Real Housewives of Carrboro or The Today Show. Whatever happened to Jack Lescoulie…. and Dave Garroway and his monkey? …. Other than the final rounds of The Finals in mid-June, my cumulative NBA watch minutes don’t reach double digits. UNTIL last night…. I had fallen asleep with the TV on. I have a timer on my remote, but I had not set it.
For whatever reason, I woke up with the Warriors v Thunder game on with 6:00 to go in the 4th Quarter. OKC was ahead by 12 and the game was in OKC. Kevin Durant was “in the zone” and a rare Warriors defeat seemed likely.
I scan headlines enough to know the Warriors are having a “dream season” likely to break the Bulls’ record for W’s and Curry is a shoo-in to repeat as MVP. So, I found myself watching the final minutes of the game. Lucky me.
The NBA has all sorts of odd rules to permit teams to overcome seemingly in-surmountable deficits in the final minute. Those rules keep the excitement in games and hopefully keep viewers viewing until the end.
If the NBA ran MLB, if a team was down by two or more runs in the 9th batters could skip 1st and 2nd and just run straight to 3rd. The team with the lead would have to play defense without a shortstop and the strike zone would be reduced to the width of the batter’s belt.
Last night, all those silly end-of-game rules weren’t needed. The Golden State Warriors had a better solution – Steph Curry. Steph Curry put on a long-range shooting exhibition that a Marine sniper would have envied. He did it without a scope and with various tall men standing a foot away from him waving their arms. Granted there was no measurable cross-wind to account for. But he was so far away from the basket that he DID account for the curvature of the Earth and several time zones.
The following article recounts what happened in those final six minutes and Overtime. He, Curry, won the game in OT with a 38’ jumper, which would be a Hail Mary desperation shot by anyone but Steph Curry. 38’ is a lot closer to the mid-court line than it is to the 3-point arc. It is a set play in the Warrior playbook. It’s probably called “Pass the ball to Steph…. Steph shoots it….. keep doing that until he misses two in a row.”
Steph Curry’s 38′ shot with 00:02 to go in OT was NOT the AMAZING part last night. By that point everyone in Oklahoma City and all of us on TV fully expected he WOULD make it. He expected to. He did.
Certainly there have been / are a number of “go to” guys in The NBA. “Get the ball to Wilt, MJ, Lebron, Magic, Kobe and get out of their way” but Steph Curry is “different”.
Steph Curry can dunk but he can’t shatter a back board or take a quarter off the top. He can drive the lane and do assorted twisting machinations that we mere mortals marvel at. But what Steph Curry does night after night is SHOOT like nobody has ever shot before.
We’ve all “shot a basketball” in our driveway…. a local rec center…. the school gym… and if you shoot long enough you might make a half-court shot or 3-4 in a row from the arc…. and feel pretty good about yourself. Not unlike sinking a 40’ putt on #9 at Augusta after only 50 tries.
Steph Curry fully expects to make every shot he takes and does with greater regularity than anyone ever has. 20,000 OKC fans expected him to make every one to. He “makes it look easy” like Olympic divers and pixie gymnasts make what they do “look easy”.
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 repetitions to become “really really good” at anything whether it is stand-up comedy, playing the cello or long-range shooting a basketball. I am sure Step Curry passed that 10,000 mark quite some time ago. Likely around his sophomore year at Davidson.
Lebron James is certainly a more AWESOME physical talent. His combination of size and “athleticism” is ridiculous. You and I know we cannot do what Lebron does…. or what Jordan could do with his high-flying act. But we fantasize maybe we could develop the shooting ability of Steph Curry…. if we spent 5-6 hours/day in a gym for 10 years with endless trays of balls and someone to refine our technique.
We’ve all made at least ONE shot from 3 point range if not in “a game” at least when just fooling around. Maybe we’ve never made two in a row…. but we probably could given enough time. Then, of course, there’s the tall guy 3’ from us waving his arms and 20,000 fans yelling at us elements.
I can’t explain what I saw last night. Watch the video clips below. You’ve all seen players “make 3’s” but this was “something else”.
Steph Curry is a very high-profile, highly competitive African America pro athlete at the top of his profession. He is very competitive a/k/a “hates to lose”…. and shows his emotions. I am, of course, Old – White – Christian – & Republican…. but I am NOT consternated (or constipated) about Steph Curry.
I don’t have the slightest resentment or dislike towards Steph Curry. To my knowledge that “woman in Eastern Tennessee” doesn’t either.
Could THE PUNDITS BE WRONG with their knee-jerk analysis of CAM-HATE. Ya Reckon? …. A most interesting topic for another day. You know I do loooove “interesting topics”.
Watch these clips. ….. AMAZING.
Remember a line in a recent Roy Columns re: “Carol Folt in body paint” . CHECK IT OUT – LINK 🙂