Here is how NBA fandom works in 2015: You might not be able to tell me the score of last night's Clippers/Warriors game. Hell, you might not even know who won. But you've definitely seen the game's singular highlight—probably dozens, if not hundreds of times—from every conceivable angle. If you're the one in a thousand people who somehow missed it, well, you're welcome:
Steph Curry decimated Chris Paul, and it was immediately everywhere. Back in January, The Wall Street Journal proclaimed that Vine has become the best way to watch the NBA. No team has benefited from this more than the Warriors (10:30 p.m. start times are rough for East Coast fans), and no player is better suited for it than Curry, whose playground-inflected game translates tremendously well into six-second clips.
So when we got a chance to catch up with Curry earlier this month through Degree, we knew exactly what we wanted to ask him about: As the focal point of many of the NBA's best Vines, just, you know, how?
As highlights have moved more and more from the TV to the internet, it’s become apparent your game is perfect for Vine. I wanted to ask you about three plays in particular from the last month—and see if you know the play just by the name of the opponent.
The first one I wanted to ask you about was against the Bucks.
In the fourth quarter.
Oh! [Starts laughing.] The three and don’t watch it go in?
I think it was your third three in a row that quarter?
Yeah. It was pretty pathetic because I was having such a slow night that night, I didn’t have many attempts, but all of a sudden the switch goes on, you make three in a row—and the third one it felt like the best I’ve ever felt a jumpshot [go] off my fingers and I knew no doubt it was going in. And I was having some fun with Khris Middleton, who was closing out and trying to contest the shot. When I was a rookie in the league, he came to my skills academy that I had in North Carolina, so he’s a Steph Curry Skills Academy alumni. Him in the league now guarding me, I saw him closing out, so I was having a little fun with him. Thankfully it went in so I didn’t look stupid turning around too quick.
The second play I wanted to ask you about was against Dallas.
Dallas...oh, the wraparound pass?
The wraparound pass. The same kind of thing happened, where you made this pass up in the lane, Harrison’s not even set yet, and you’re already facing the other way.
That’s the confidence I have in my teammates. As soon as I made the pass and saw he was wide open and knew he was gonna take the shot, I was getting ready to get back on defense, I just wanted a little head start.
[COACH KERR] MIGHT HAVE THOUGHT I WAS REAL DELUSIONAL AT THAT POINT, BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD SHOT.
Because on some other plays you’ve made you’ll watch the play through and actually watch the shot.
It was one of those moments that you was like ‘this is meant to be.’ He’s no doubt gonna make it, make that three, because of the way that the play happened. Just the fact that I was able to get it to him after I changed my mind, I was gonna wrap a behind-the-back pass with my left hand and I changed my mind once I saw Harrison was open in the corner—it was meant to be.
The third one was against the Clippers.
That one was crazy.
That was crazy. My coach’s reaction, what are we doin’, the craziest release. I told coach though, after I made all those dribble moves, I didn’t really see how many people were around me. Once I had made all those dribble moves it was literally a shot that I had 100 percent confidence in. I felt like I was in rhythm, even though when I saw the clip I was so off-balance. There’s no way I should have shot that. He thought—Coach Kerr thought—I saw the shot clock was runnin’ low and was just trying to flick it up before the shot clock ran out. But I had no recollection of the shot clock, and it turns out there were nine or 10 [seconds left] on the clock. He might have thought I was real delusional at that point, but I thought it was a good shot.