I remember last year when Kevin Durant won the MVP.
It was such a huge revelation (to me) that someone other than Lebron James could claim the trophy.
James had been so dominant for so long that Durant's breakthrough felt almost surreal.
And yet, when it happened, it made sense. Kevin Durant was, by all accounts, the second best player on the planet—gifted, long, athletic, driven, fierce. For him to win the MVP felt right. It was his turn.
When something happens halfway across the world, there is a certain sense of unreality to that event. It has happened to someone else. It is not your reality to experience. You can only ever grasp at its truth through the lens of the media, or through footage captured at the scene, or through the word of mouth, transfigured a thousand times in the retelling.
The MVP trophy has been, for the entirety of my lifetime, something that happened to someone else. To other teams. It was a yearly occurrence that had very little weight in my life because the chances I would ever find true value in it were so astronomically small—laughably minuscule—that I paid the vote very little heed. Oh, right, LeBron won again. Okay. Great for him. He deserves it. He is obviously the best player in the league.
But when it happens close to home, when a guy who you've lived and died with emotionally wins the award...well, the words are just beginning to find their way on to the page.
I've spent the last 48 hours or so—since word leaked of Steph's win—trying to find the proper words.
In short: I am overjoyed. I am so proud of him for the way he represents himself, his team, and his community.
I am grateful to have been able to follow his professional journey since its inception when he was drafted.
Moreover, I am excited that finally, after all these years, the golden achievements of NBA super stardom—MVPs, championships, crazy endorsements, national attention—are beginning to find a home in the Bay Area.
The Warriors, led by Mr. Stephen Curry, this year's NBA MVP, have firmly ensconced themselves as America's Team. And Steph is the captain of the ship. Fresh faced, humble, family oriented and gracious.
He is everything you'd ever dream as the face of the NBA.
Just now, I got off the train. It'd been a long day. The sky was overcast, clouds billowing in from the unseen ocean. I walked quietly down the pavement thinking about this piece—thinking about what words could possibly be said—when I looked up and saw a young girl, no older than eleven or so, riding her bicycle down the street proudly wearing a Steph Curry jersey.
When did Brooklyn kids start wearing Warriors gear?
Is this real? Or did we all fall asleep somewhere along the line? If this is a strange fever-dream, if Cohan is still running the team, or—shit—even if Mark Jackson is still coaching, please DO NOT WAKE ME UP.
No matter the outcome, this season has been the greatest season I have ever personally witnessed.
It has been an honor and a privilege to cover Steph. To cover this team. I am humbled to be connected to it—albeit in the tiniest, most inconsequential way imaginable.
We are all connected.
We can all share the moment.
Goddammit Steph, I super proud to be able to root for you.
Game two, tonight. Let's get back to it!