At about 7 o’clock PDT last night I was sitting at a table at Tomo in Arcata with the family, eating oysters and sautéed peppers, drinking hot sake. There was warmth, there was merriment, even though the Warriors were getting spanked by the Rockets, having given up 45 points in the first quarter. They had been down 22-7 and 25-10, but the screen at the bar was about 20 feet away, so I could barely make out what was happening in the game. Which was a mitzvah.
Then I saw something horrifying out of the corner of my eye. Stephen Curry tumbled over Trevor Ariza, landed hard on his head and neck, and didn’t get up. For awhile.
There was no way to be sure, at the moment, that he hadn’t broken his neck. ESPN kept showing the replay and it looked really bad. Medical staff clustered around Steph’s prone body wearing grim expressions, the broadcast cut to a commercial break, and I felt like I might vomit on the dinner table.
As Warriors fans we had been waiting for this moment, when God Almighty would finally punish us for all the fun we’d been having. We are not accustomed to prosperity and don’t feel entirely comfortable with it, and all throughout this sun-kissed season have been expecting the eclipse at any moment.
But a few minutes later Steph arose and walked off the court to audible sighs of relief from all over Dub Nation. The game continued and he even came back to play in the second half, a move of which I did not personally approve, but no one in a position of authority asked me.
The Warriors had gone on a nice run when Steph went down, and kept making runs in the second half, but just couldn’t quite get there. James Harden was once again out of his mind, scoring seemingly at will and finishing with 45 points. So the Warriors lost for the first time in 16 days and who cares? Tomorrow Curry will be back in uniform, the Dubs will be back in Oakland, and life will go on.
Now that we’re pretty sure there is no permanent or long-lasting injury, I trust it’s not insensitive to observe that Steph Curry can do many amazing things, but it’s clear that he can’t fly.
He can fly, but he can’t block shots and shouldn’t try.
It was a dumb play on his part. Basketball 101: don’t leave your feet on defense.