Microcosm of the Anger In the Baby Faced Assassin

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Updated: November 29, 2021
curryy

Big Smiles, shimmies, and 32-foot logo daggers are the images tattooed to the quote-unquote “most unselfish superstar” of the modern era. Wardell Stephen Curry’s off-ball share the rock style of play has been intertwined with a sense of joy and fluidity that is as much a part of the Warriors’ identity as the 3-ball itself. When put in front of the microphone, like a well-groomed politician, the Chef has always given the right answer even when asked the wrong questions. However, as his long-term vet, Iguodala alluded to a few seasons back, Curry hears all the chatter and sees all the shade cast in his direction. That sometimes at halftime, when the shots aren’t falling, he scrolls through the web and collects low-hanging fruit that slots him a tier below the other MVPs of his generation.

 Bodied and bullied for the early portions of his career, the narrative has been that he can’t handle the physicality and is a liability on the defensive end of the floor. But since the 2nd season with Durant, Curry has continued to add bulk to his once slight frame. Instead of avoiding contact, he has invited it and created it at the rim.

In yesterday’s matinee matchup at Staples, a place he has notoriously struggled, the Baby Faced Assassin was out for blood. 6 steals on the night and openly welcomed covering the 6’8 wing PG13 on the block with the stops, Curry continued to show why his current best defensive guard rating in the NBA is no early-season fluke. Obviously, there are better specialist defensive guards in the league, but unlike most of the All-Stars at his position, the once liability is now a clear-cut 2-way player.

 But that wasn’t the story of yesterday’s day game in the City of Angels. On a two-man break, with a 2 on 1, Steph got the rock and got bodied at the basket only to watch the official swallow up the whistle and watch the 2-time MVP hit the floor. 6-foot-3 Curry sprung off the hardwood and stanced on the referee shouting in his face with the volume and hand gestures that looked like the beginning of a bar fight. He got hit with an immediate Tech, and if not for Juan Toscano physically restraining him, he would’ve picked up the second.

 To add insult to injury, two possessions later, he got hit with the offensive push-off, which negated the 3-point swish he drained from the corner. The combination of the two plays appeared to act as a fuse to something that Curry often keeps hidden from the public. It was an anger that obviously is not isolated to a couple of bad calls but is attached to a disrespect he pretends to have no effect on his psyche and yet appears to be a fuel he is now willing to burn. He followed these events with what felt like a dozen bombs from distance and completely discarded PG13 and the Clips like he was Killian Hayes in Detroit. After the 4th triple tickled the bottom of the net, the Chef emphatically gave the signal for a Technical clarifying his intentions for masquer.

 The moment stood as a microcosm to the interworkings of a man divided between two masters. All truths are paradoxical. The fun-loving perimeter player that all the kids adore is not a façade, yet neither was the built-up aggression that detonated in Los Angles and laid the Clips to the wastelands of tier-2 non-contenders.

After the ballgame, on the microphone with Fitzgerald, Curry had regained his composure and his anger was baptized by the W. The politically correct answers about the refs and the no-calls were given, but Fitz wasn’t having it. The team had joked about lighting a fire under Wiggins by showing him the poster-jam on Towns before every game, and Fitz said they’d do the same by showing Curry his own face from the Tech after the no-call. He laughed it off with a smile, but something has shifted in the Chef as he has transparently embraced this revenge tour across the league.

 With a towel over his head on the sidelines, he often looks like Skywalker in Return of the Jedi, dressed in black, ready for warfare. As our director at Basketballgods James says, “a truly great team mirrors the intensity and intangibles of its star.” With the buy-in to the system and dedication to every single possession he is a part of on both ends of the floor, the Baby Faced Assassin has led by example. It has created a culture and style down the stretch of games that is as fluid as it is lethal.

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