Trash talking is an integral part of basketball, and Stephen Curry raised this art to another level since it is not by word but by gesture that the leader of the Warriors demonstrates his superiority. We saw him during the last playoffs with his “Good night little ones” celebration, and before that, there was the “no look three”, or the 3-point score without even looking at the basket!
As Michael Jordan could do by closing his eyes to register a free throw, Stephen Curry looks away before his ball even pierces the net. We have thus gone from “trash talking” to … “trash acting”, and in the exercise of the “no look shot”, no one can sit at the table of the Warriors superstar.
When JaVale McGee… swallows his pride
Guest of the podcast of JJ Redick, himself a former renowned sniper, the son of Dell Curry was thus invited to return to the origins of this crazy gesture. It was in 2013, during an already crazy performance, when he scored 22 points in a quarter in a first-round playoff game against the Nuggets.
“It was either Game 3 or 4 of our first series of playoffs (note: it’s Game 4)”he remembered. “It was the third quarter. I had this crazy streak where I think I scored about twenty points in the quarter, and one of the last 3-point baskets was just in front of the Denver bench (…). JaVale McGee was standing, with five or six guys around him. I get the ball in the corner, and obviously you’ve been in that situation before where you get up to shoot and you hear everyone trashtalking behind you. And for some reason, I felt like an “out of body” experience. I pulled. When I let go of the ball, I said to myself that I had never felt a ball go so well. I turned around, I looked at JaVale, then I ran and the ball went in”.
The first of a long series
Stephen Curry has multiplied the “no look shots” since that day, as during the last All-Star Game when he planted two to punctuate a historic performance. But this very first shot will remain apart, because of the atmosphere that reigned that evening.
“We were sixth, and we started the series in Denver before coming back. There was this haze when we left the corridor, three quarters of the people were in the stands 20 minutes before the start of the match, chanting “Warriors”. There was a good atmosphere in the room and you find yourself a little bewitched in there”he added. “It was a really special moment. It takes irrational confidence to even try that in a playoff game. But it was great”.