Before I die from the Concord heat, before my hair melts through the scalp and into the brain, I want you to have this arbitrary Summer content. Back in the Spring, I interviewed Curry and it was a fun experience all around. Couldn’t help but be taken aback by the surreality of this opportunity, and how it placed me on the other side of this experience. Here’s a mini time capsule. Can’t wait for real games again….
Human beings aren’t meant to do what Stephen Curry does. Not in terms of court accomplishments, in terms of the off-court duties. A person isn’t supposed to be followed by cameras…when he’s playing a video game…for the first time…out of corporate obligation.
There are worse lots than getting cash for toying with the latest Wii distraction, and I’m sure Red Steel 2 is awesome. But just look at this photo: Isn’t the picture funny? They’re interviewing a man about a virtual game he doesn’t play, due to his proficiency in an actual game. Could I explain this to a Martian who’d just descended onto the planet? What about someone from the 18th century (Well Mr. Washington, we call this a Wii controller, it’s sort of like a fake musket that murders fake people, and we want to buy this product because that famous guy pretends to like it, even though we know he’s pretending…oh, and have you heard of the “shake weight”)?
I’ve just never watched someone play a VG while covered by photographers, and now it’s trapped in my head. I can see it now: The cameramen wear ultra alert, grim expressions, as though Curry is defending us from the oncoming attackers. And, if only I could sneer at them. Truth is, I was part of the whole thing. Just happy to be there, actually.
But was Curry happy to be there? Athletes are humans who become products, but we (fans) want to know them as people. Of course, we want to understand a very controlled version of them. It’s great when Nate Robison talks about loving Lost, it’s awful when LeBron honestly recalls hating Cleveland. If an athlete is to maintain his image, he must beam insouciance at all times. So I’ll never know if Steph actually enjoys this, but I do know that he should pretend to.
Athletes aren’t supposed to hate anything other than losing. Oh, and if you haven’t gotten the media memo re: LeBron, apparently we want superstars to loath cooperation with other superstars. Unless they were all on the same team in the first place. Or an owner brought the superstars together, like God playing matchmaker to Eve and Adam. Yes, we want superstars to snap at each other like Vick’s pitbulls, until some rich white guy says otherwise. Free will for me, but not for thee (King). The Martian was very confused by that last paragraph and he tried to kill himself with the Wii controller.
I’m here to mess with Curry’s day, and he handles it well. He clearly doesn’t relish attention in the way Charles Barkely might, but Steph can fake it better than most. He’s achingly polite, though his answers seem autopiloted. I’m given a snippet of who he is, so I can’t speak to whether Curry is a good guy. I can say that he acts like a good guy.
His girlfriend, Ayesha Alexander, sits in the corner, eyes glazed over. When I ask if she is indeed, bored as hell, she emphatically answers in the affirmative. I tell her that it’ll be over soon, and that Curry’s entourage will be freed to watch March Madness. She laughs, shouting, “I don’t want to do THAT.”
I monosyllabically trudge through our talk, not intentionally of course. To me, my voice sounds like a sonorous, lilting charisma vehicle. The tape reveals that Curry heard a slow, scrapping San Diego trail-off. The pictures Frank Gomez and Jorge Luna take show that Curry was actually talking to someone from the 70’s:
After it’s all over, I suggest to Curry’s handler that we use the big screen TV as God intended: It’s March Madness time.