A couple of days ago, after Steph Curry brought his daughter to the podium after a Warriors win over Houston, several media members griped that the Golden State superstar had violated some protocol; that he should have taken the experience more seriously.
In case you missed it, earlier tonight Curry suffered a hard-to-watch tumble during Game 4 of the series. It was REALLY bad, and he left the game for a long stretch before returning as his team lost. Afterward, ESPN televised the post-game press conferences, which featured Curry, then some Houston players.
What was there: Lots of cliched, bullshit questions.
What was missing: The question that needed to be asked.
Specifically, it was a question that needed to be asked to James Harden, the Rockets star who took inquiries after Curry was done. I knew it wouldn’t be asked, because good questions rarely come in these sessions. But … still. I wanted to hear it.
Namely: “James, throughout the history of the NBA, players have talked about their need to win a title. Guys have said they’d kill for it; they’d dunk over their mothers, etc. It’s about money, prestige, glory. So, I have to ask, when Steph left the game, was there any part of you that felt, well, happy? Or relieved? I mean, it couldn’t hurt your team having the MVP out. And, along those lines, was there a part of you that was pissed off when he returned?”
So why is this important? Mainly, because it cuts through all the cliched bullshit and gets to the raw emotion that is often hidden behind cannon-fired T-shirts and loud music and half-naked dancers. There’s a rawness to pro sports; a kill-or-be-killed brutality that exists in, oh, 90 percent of players. I am convinced most (if not all) of the Rockets were thrilled when Curry left, because it opened up possibilities. Hell, if he’s out for a long stretch, it has the potential to change the series.
So how did the Rockets feel? Did they smell blood?
Alas, we’ll never know. Because nobody bothered to ask.