by Mac Callihan
Hello Prophet Nation! Mac Callihan here with you for a summery edition of Prophet Basketball Report! Smith Holbrook can’t bring you this month’s report, as he’s been on an extended, globe-trotting vacation with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for weeks now. We can rest assured that they will be boarding a jet today bound for Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ve been unreachable, which isn’t surprising, and the only correspondence Silver’s offered are the photos I received in the mail this morning. No return address, of course, as is the Commissioner’s custom. Ha! Such an elusive visionary is he. So, the series of photos in question captures Adam Silver pouring a huge bucket of little Ghost Crabs on a slumbering Smith Holbrook. The little, lightning quick iridescent things pour out of the bucket in the hundreds over Smith’s sleeping head, scampering under his blanket and causing him to wake up in a terrified frenzy. The pictures are like a flip book, with Commissioner Silver laughing hugely, savoring every second of the ghost crabs inciting terror on Smith. On the back of the last photograph is a scribbled note from Holbrook, asking, “Callihan, please write my basketball report this month? My hands are tied, to put it lightly! I’d really owe you one. Love, Smith.”
Oh, I forgot to mention that Commissioner Silver has recently hired Holbrook as his “Consigliere”—or “Counselor” to us Americans—because he enjoys his company and values Smith’s prudent advice so much. And because he’s a big fan of The Godfather. ANYWAY, enough of this!
Today we’re talking Steph Curry, Prophet Nation. I love Steph Curry for so many reasons, as do millions. His handles are unreal, and that’s what appeals to me most. Because I’m a tennis player, I appreciate him that much more. Those of us who step on the tennis court can acknowledge and admire someone with such incredible footwork and good hands—those are the cornerstones of hitting solid volleys, after all. Steph would without question be a remarkable tennis player. Okay, okay, enough about tennis!
So, Curry is an assassin from deep, as we’ve all had the privilege to witness...but more importantly, he’s an assassin when it matters. He’s a closer. And he is basically without ego, which is the best part of all. Not surprising considering his low-key nature, his mixture of confidence and humility. He wasn’t a “destined for fame” youth, a readymade star at 17 that Kobe and LeBron were. And that’s not a knock on those superstars, it’s just…Steph was, well, small. He was roughly 6’1” and a meager 160 pounds coming out of high school—that’s pretty thin. All the major conference schools passed on him; Virginia Tech, where his sharp-shooting father played before going on to the NBA, didn’t want him. Steph could’ve still went to V. Tech, but he didn’t want to be a red-shirt walk-on his freshman year, and for good reason. Who would want to sell themselves short for no action? Not one with self belief.
Enter Davidson. Actually, good old Davidson College was there from the time he was 15 on, promising him the team would be built around him. He was in. He got stronger, grew a couple inches taller, and he took them to the Elite 8 his sophomore year, losing by 2 to a Kansas team who would ultimately claim the NCAA Championship. Steph proved himself at the college level on a national stage, which had to be satisfying after being turned down or not even considered by so many elite college teams. After his junior season and more barrages of 3 pointers, he declared for the NBA draft. He was picked 7th in the first round by Golden State; the best pick they’ve ever made—and luckiest pick.
Did Golden State have any inkling to what he could become? Wait—that was a really dumb question with an obvious answer. I should delete that and try again. Eh, I’ve come this far, screw it. The answer is NO, as you know. No one knew how limitless his potential was, I dare say he didn’t even realize the FULL extent of it. And he still hasn’t. He knew he could get better, but through hard work, the sky truly was and is the limit for him; he’s still improving and discovering/tweaking different talents. Over the years, his ball handling has improved drastically, his court awareness, his decision making. This goes for most any solid NBA player that’s been in the league for 6 or 7 years like Steph has, but not at this level. This is unprecedented.
It makes one ponder the question: What undiscovered potential is latent within each of us, and is possible for each of us? Can we conjure the self-discipline and courage and heart to push onward towards it? Some can, some won’t, some will, some don’t desire it. And by it, I mean self-discovery, self-awareness, and revelatory light.
Whew, okay, at any rate…So, to bring this thing to a close, I’ll now toss out a strangely personal myriad of reasons I’m a huge Steph Curry fan. Firstly, his name is traditionally pronounced differently than it's spelled, and so is my son Rowan's (in Appalachia, anyway), and I dig that. Where is the golden name book that says the “ph” must have a “v” sound, huh? The “o” in Rowan doesn’t have to be short, no, of course it doesn’t…it can be a long “o”! It’s all a matter of preference. Okay, I’m getting tangential on you. Sorry. Furthermore, he's a mid-March Pisces, as am I; yet another reason to pull for him. Water signs should always support and encourage each other, after all.
If Stephen Curry were to now materialize next to me right now, I say he’d sit calmly in the empty purple swivel chair at my side with a half-smile on his face. Then he’d definitely say something like, “Yeah, buddy, keep drinking Stewart’s Orange ‘n Cream soda like that, and keep writing. Raise your son right…play tennis like mad, but remember to work hard to improve. At tennis, sure, it’s the sport you love most—so treat it like you love it for once. But also at life—treat your own life like it’s the gift from God that it is. You’ve made a lot of painfully sad mistakes, but you don’t have to keep making them, buddy. People fight through adversity, people who have had it a lot harder than you, so you’re going to have to find a way. Work hard in every aspect of your life, trust in God, and things have a way of working out for the good. Wait, hold on, a signal is coming in…okay, okay, got it Coach, got it. Sorry, Mac I gotta run, or I’ll be late for practice. You, you just continue drinking Stewart’s Orange ‘n Cream soda, that’s truly a special beverage. You’ve got good taste. Or else you wouldn’t be writing about me on that typewriter in front of you. One last thing before I lace up my kicks: I want action from you, not just meaningless words. Take a look around, life ain’t empty. You don’t know what’s possible until you try. And work at the trying, work hard. And love much. Me and the boys have to hold serve tonight in Game 7 against the Thunder. Root for me; I’ll root for you. See you when I see you.”
Then Steph would vanish into thin air I’d take a long and satisfying pull off of my Stewart’s Orange ‘n Cream soda. Then I’d probably speak to the vacated purple swivel chair in astonished bewilderment: “Wow, Steph, thanks…thanks. How’d you do that? I know a lot about you, but how did you know anything about me? That was really cool and thoughtful of you to take time to talk to a fan, because I know you’re busy with trying to win another NBA Championship. Also, Steph, I’m glad I keep this detective-like audio recorder on me at all times, so now I can review your wise words when I need them. And I’ll need them often. Anyway, I’m talking to a vacated, periwinkle swivel chair that you were sitting in a minute ago. So, okay. Thank you, Steph, you’re a straight flush.”
Call me a Steph Curry fan-boy, call me bandwagon, call me what you will. It’s all true I suppose and I’m not easily offended, ya clown ass punk! Ha! I’m only appreciating the courage and heart of a supremely talented human being who is realizing his potential. And that, dear Prophet Nation, is something to be respected, something to be in awe of…no matter the person and no matter their profession or calling.
Unlimited love and hope to you and yours on this lovely Memorial Day, my friends. I’m Mac Callihan, and it’s Prophet Reporting.