Hey, old people who read GetReligion and know rock 'n' roll history (Hello Ira): Do you remember the days when people would write "Eric Clapton is God" on walls in London?
I think we are just about to hit that point with the so-hot-he-might-hurt-your-eyes hoops comet named Stephen Curry. Yes, I saw "The Move" against the Clippers (video above). Yes, I have seen the social media tsunami linked to "The Shot" last night to send that playoff game against New Orleans into overtime.
The press coverage of young master Curry is ramping up and, at some point, the mainstream news scribes are going to have to talk about his Christian faith. If you know the history of Curry and his NBA elite family, you know that this will at some point lead to his shoes and things written on his shoes. Think of it as the sequel to the black paint First Amendment Zones underneath Tim Tebow's eyes.
As a public-service announcement for journalists, I would like to flash back to some earlier GetReligion commentary about the press commentary about the biblical commentary on Curry's shoes -- starting when he was in college at Davidson. Does anyone remember this? A reporter wrote:
On the red trim at the bottom of his shoes, Stephen Curry has written in black marker, “I can do all things.”
Yes, yes he can. And because of him, Davidson is marching on.
Ah, but should that have been "Him" instead of "him"? The implication, of course, was that Curry -- as a statement of confidence, if not ego -- was saying that he could do whatever he wanted to do whenever he stepped onto a basketball court. I noted at the time:
It was safe to say that the AP team did not recognize that this Christian kid was making a biblical reference that, as interpreted by most active Christians, could be seen as a statement of humility -- precisely the opposite of the spin the AP put into that story. You see, there is every reason to think that Curry's sneaker quotation referred to the New Testament, specifically to Philippians 4:13, which states:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Curry was raised in a strong Christian home and, of course, graduated from Charlotte Christian School. In fact, his brother Seth -- another hoops star at Charlotte Christian -- attended Liberty University (often known as Jerry Falwell U) before transferring to Duke University.
So the question that some readers asked long ago was: Who edited out the second half of the Philippians quote? It's safe to say that Curry himself knew the whole verse and had a reason for writing this phrase on his, well, sole.
So reporters: Please know that Curry is used to talking about these issues. Ask questions. Treat his faith as information about his life. Maybe it is time for a Curry shoe theology update. I say that because of a feature that ran the other day at Rapzilla that included some interesting information:
Stephen Curry had answered questions about his new Under Armour signature shoe for about 30 minutes. The Q&A was close to wrapping up when one last question came in.
“I see the 4:13 on the tongue,” a media member asked. “What does that mean?”
Curry’s whole disposition brightened. His postured straightened. He pulled the microphone closer to him. A smile spread across his face.
“That’s a good question,” the Golden State Warriors point guard said. “Glad you asked.”
And there it was, playing out just how he drew it up.
“It represents a Bible verse I wear on my shoe,” Curry said. “Philippians 4:13. It says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ It’s also my mantra, how I get up for games and why I play the way I do.”
The new Curry One ... is a proclamation that he’s arrived as an NBA star, and he’s a different kind of star. His new shoe is a microcosm for how he approaches this pedestal his sweet jumper has propped him on. It’s his latest example of how his amazing story is part of a divine plan.
For Curry, the shoe represents overcoming, considering not that long ago he was all but written off due to repeated ankle injuries. It represents sacrifice, as he traded in credibility and global reach by shockingly leaving Nike. It also represents ministry, which is why Curry’s new sneaker is dripping with spiritual innuendo.
This has been a public-service announcement for the use of reporters covering Curry. Be careful out there and get the facts straight. Talk to the man. It appears that he's ready for your questions.