Apr/May 2016 Poetry Special Feature

Steph Curry Is My Favorite Team

by Jack Murphy

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream

Steph Curry Is My Favorite Team

I knew I could only be Michael Jordan
in my basement afternoons after school, where
I'd unleash hellacious dunks on imaginary stiffs
until the rim of my Jordan Jammer eventually
sagged and tore off sometime in 8th grade.

I mean, I think I knew I could never actually
be MJ, though now I'm not so sure— more likely
I felt it was only a matter of time: a late growth
spurt, enough will, the right concoction of veggies
and Gatorade and sweat. Who was to say?

I watched Steph Curry Saturday night, watched
every second, and was thrilled the way I used to be,
though the Warriors are not my team and their
genius threatens to eclipse childhood memories
of my Bulls beating the Bucks for 70, history

my mother had told me, allowing me to stay up
well past my bedtime, a story she recounts so often
now I'm sure she considers it her finest moment
of parenting. Watching Steph makes me wish for
a child I could break the rules for, keep up late,

instill a love of pull-up 30 footers, justify
bad sportsmanship if performed in the spirit of
exquisite joy. Steph was not heavily recruited,
I would tell her. Scouts said he relied on
his shot too heavily, which is like saying summer

relies too much on the sun or flowers too much
on their color or birds too much on their wings.
But I do not have a child, and so who could this
be for but myself. Steph is not really so much
bigger than me, after all. A similar build, at least

compared to other NBA players, so... actually not
so similar in reality. But couldn't I learn to shoot
in this manner, doesn't greatness after all hinge
on desire and effort? No, I know this is not so, but
I can shoot three pointers in an empty gym

and imagine it's the same, can create scenarios
like I did in my basement years ago: down 2,
5 seconds to go, Game 7, LeBron on me like
a glove, three dribbles, a step back, ball in the air—
and in that perpetual moment, who's to say?


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