I am here to talk about the way Wardell Stephen Curry II plays basketball.
How there’s a strange kind of fluidity to him. How he plays like he’s a liquid. He oozes and slips and seeps and leaks around defenders and gets to spaces on the floor that aren’t typically reserved for scorers. I’m here to talk about his ankles, and his knees, and his wrist, and his whole body, and how they need to chill out with getting injured for the next ten years so we can just enjoy this onslaught of threes, floaters, pull-ups, and space shots, unfettered by worries of him having to sit out because of a tweak or a break or a tear.
I am here to talk about how he moves, how there is a glide to his game that might not have ever been previously seen. How he’s Whitman or Keats or Andre or Thoreau or Dylan. How he keeps his dribble like it’s the one thing he was able to save from a fire to his childhood home. I am here to talk about his patience. How his pace is the only pace he’s concerned with.
I am here to talk about his line this season. His 22.3 pts and his 8.7 assists and his 4.3 rebounds and his 1.7 steals. I’m here to talk about how he goes beyond those numbers and how he’s reached that feelings level where when he has the ball and he’s playing against your team you start to get nervous as soon as he crosses half-court. I’m here to talk about how he worries you. How he’s a problem.
I’m here to talk about his creativity. How he invents shots, or gives light to shots that would otherwise toil in the nonsense darkness, yo-yo step-back 26 footers with a hand in his face or floaters released from beyond the free throw line or pulling up for a three when he’s got a free lane to the rim and no rebounders in sight. JR Smith Head Palm Specials turned into Curry Drips. Because that’s what his shots do. That’s how they leave him. Their softness and their ease, they drip off his hand, syrupy.
I’m here to go on a tangent about how he’s getting to the point of recapturing the experience he gave us all at Davidson. About how I sat in a musty, dank dorm room on the second floor Storer hallway of Oklahoma Baptist University’s Agee Residence Center with my friend Cal and several Carl’s Jr.’s Western Bacons and watched him torch Gonzaga and Goliath and Georgetown and Convention and Wisconsin and Reality and Kansas. He sent us against the walls of the room and up to the ceiling and made our bodies convulse like we had just been bitten and were a few seconds from becoming zombies. Gus Johnson loving it all, cackling away like a Power Rangers villain.
I’m here to talk about how he’s now in that rare air that shooters inhabit when he surprises you by missing. You feel like you’ve been cheated. Like he hates you. Like, why would you not perform miracles tonight when I’m watching? You did the other night when I was away from the television.
I’m here to talk about how, when he’s inside 28 feet, he’s fully capable of destroying you however he sees fit. How his shots pause in the air. How they fall through the net gently, as though he’s shooting in a gym full of sleeping babies and he doesn’t want to wake them. How guarding him is like trying to escape your shadow.