"For weeks, an all-points bulletin has been issued for the whereabouts of the most exciting basketball player in history. "
You can probably guess what player this LA Times article is talking about.
Did you guess it had been said about the reigning, defending, 2x, Unanimous, Point Gawd MVP Stephen Curry during the end of 2016 calendar basketball year? Many pundits, fans, enemies, and even our very own GSOM family were echoing the same thoughts.
But nah, this was said about Michael Jordan. I'll show you an excerpt from the article, which in hindsight, was probably a part of the fuel that pushed MJ to set the (previous) record for most wins in a season and win his last 3 titles. This was during a playoff tilt between Michael's Bulls and Shaq and Penny's Magic in 1995, over 20 years ago.
On Sunday in Game 1, Jordan singled-handedly blew an important game against Orlando. With 1:30 left, he missed two free throws. With a one-point lead in the final ten seconds, he let Nick Anderson steal the ball, setting up a layup. Worst, with a chance to win at the buzzer, Jordan passed up a jump shot from the foul line. Kids drain that one in their sleep. In a split-second of subconscious self-betrayal, he revealed his dwindling confidence. Jordan passed the buck.
Afterward, Nick Anderson stuck in the knife. "No. 23 could just blow by you. He took off like a space shuttle," Anderson said. "No. 45 revs up, but he doesn't really take off." The gauntlet had been thrown down: You ain't the man you used to be.
I remember asking our very own Eric Apricot the Master Sensei about Curry seeming to have returned back to Earth after his devestating playoff injuries and lackluster Finals showing. Apricot wasn't very optimistic about a return to Unanimous form, and well reasoned. Steph looked like a bench player in the "SHOWDOWN OF THE YEAR" against Cleveland on Christmas. It seemed that collectively, Warrior nation lost a bit of faith that day as KD took the reins, Steph looked timid, and we suffered another humiliating defeat at the hands of our RIVALS in Cleveland.
The one thing we always seem to forget about Steph, is that whatever plateau he reaches, whatever limitations are set on him, whatever circumstances are in his path, he somehow eventually always shatters them. His first commercial after the Summer of Humiliation post 73 wins/3-1 lead was "Make It Old". As in, "Hey, I've always took every challenge ahead of me and destroyed it so thoroughly, it seems old and irrelevant to bring it up (lack of college recruitment, poor draft scouting, playing with the horrendous Warriors franchise, can't become an all star, can't win a champinship, can't win 73, can't stay healthy, blah blah etc)."
And yet here we were again, doubting him. Trusting our eyes and not what we know to be true about this outstanding young man. When will we understand that the strength he draws from is not from his circumstances or what things APPEAR to be? He is outspokenly devoted to his FAITH in God. He humbled himself to allow KD to get the lionshare of the offense and let his own play suffer out of faith in Steve Kerr's guidance. He had the faith to tell his teammates he was ready to take over when things started unraveling. What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 - Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things unseen.
We hope for Curry to dominate, even when we can't see how he'll do it sometimes. So him uncorking 43-9-6 in 3 quarters in a primetime showing against our RIVALS in LA? Did we not have faith he was still capable of doing that?
Did we NOT believe? Gotdammit Warrior Nation, we once stared down the #1 seed with the reigning MVP wearing golden shirts with our war cry emblazoned on the front: "WE BELIEVE". That wasn't a catchy slogan, it's the way we live our lives. We Believe, we have the faith, that no obstacle can hold us down in our very own lives. Remember this my dear friends!
Steph is giving us nightly examples of never quitting against the opposition...just like another player who spent his formative days learning the game in North Carolina: His Airness.
Btw, MJ lost that series against the Magic. He looked inconsistent and unready. His critics were at his throat.
He then won the next three championships with the raw hunger that gnawed in his heart. You know who was there for all of that? Our current coach Steve Kerr. Let's have a little faith.
(Curry and us weren't even supposed to be this good remember?)