Steph Curry became an honorary Globetrotter Tuesday night — when he got together with two of the players before the Warriors game … and finally learned to spin a basketball on his finger!
For that he employed Harlem Globetrotters players Scooter Christensen and Handles Franklin, who were in town for the Warriors’ contest against the Miami Heat. During his pregame routine, Curry lined up for his signature tunnel shot, along the Warriors’ baseline. He accepted a behind-the-back pass of a Globetrotters multicolored ball before swishing in the deep attempt and sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Curry is averaging 24.8 points 5.8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Warriors.
Steph admitted to the guys he couldn’t do the finger trick … so they set him up right there on the spot.
He later told the guys, “You all made a dream come true right there!”
Ordinarily, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. My team, Davidson College – usually referred to by broadcasters as “tiny Davidson College” – had not competed seriously in the N.C.A.A. tournament in nearly 40 years. But this time, things were different. These were the days of miracle and wonder, thanks to a skinny sophomore guard named Stephen Curry. Davidson was founded by Presbyterians, and for many years, we liked our basketball the way we liked our sermons: defensive, careful, fundamentally unassailable and executed with a grim fatalism. Of course we worshiped the game, like every other soul who drew breath in North Carolina, but nobody ever said a worship service was supposed to be fun. That year, Curry had turned our dour service into a full-gospel tent revival. His twisting reverse layups, the divinely inspired crossover dribble, those long-range jump shots, which ascended to heaven and back: It was enough to make a Presbyterian speak in tongues. It didn’t hurt that Curry’s basketball fundamentals were as impeccable as his manners. Here was an almost bashful prodigy, dancing like Ali, shooting like Reggie Miller, whipping impossible half-court passes to a cutter you never even saw until he was laying the ball softly off the backboard. Can I get a witness?
Back then, there were still unbelievers. But they hadn’t seen Curry play. The highlight reels and YouTube clips didn’t really convey the sheer unexpectedness of Curry’s offensive skills. His arching jump shots came so fast, so far from the basket, and at such ridiculously narrow angles, that your immediate reaction was a gasp of disbelief – or more often, barking laughter. It was like watching a trick shooter with a pistol, or maybe a magician. The ball was in the hoop before anyone in the gym realized it had even been shot. Now that Steph Curry has become the face of the N.B.A., the highlights of that Davidson-vs.-Goliath run through the 2008 tournament have been replayed on television so often that even the unbelievers know them by heart. Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin all went down in succession. Kansas almost did, too. Curry scored a stunning 103 points in the first three games. Many of my friends and classmates watched the Gonzaga game at the N.C.A.A. tournament site in Raleigh. I, on the other hand, watched it in a beat-up Honda Odyssey. Early on that morning in 2008, I pulled into a darkened driveway. There was no sign of movement in the house, but my Kiwi Samaritan had left a white extension cord dangling from a second-story window. It was just long enough to reach my laptop. I booted up, logged into his Wi-Fi, and proceeded to watch a flickering Steph Curry convert an unbelieving crowd – spinning, falling away, each long-range jumper more spectacular than the last. When the buzzer finally sounded and the sun began to rise, I looked up to the window next door and said a prayer of thanks for the kindness of strangers. I might even have put a little gospel music on the stereo.