The latest chapter

He never stops shooting.


Not ever.

Back before LAST season, back when I had seen Stephen play in person all of once, back before the second straight 29-win season, back before Gonzaga, Georgetown, Wisconsin and a shot in the air -- back before all that -- I went to Davidson to report a story for Charlotte magazine and this is what the coaches told me: The kid can miss a shot. He can miss two shots, three shots, four shots, five shots, 10 shots. It doesn’t matter.

He never stops shooting.

Lives in the moment. Never about the last one. Always about THIS one.

And so this is what I found myself writing, over and over, in my notebook tonight at the Garden.

He never stops shooting.

Back rim.

He never stops shooting.

Front rim.

He never stops shooting.

In and out.

He never stops shooting.

So there’s more to say about tonight, much more, and I’ll get to it, but right now I kind of want to go meet Meg and Chip and Eddie for drinks at the Playwright on 35th between 5th and 6th.

Just quickly, though, just so we’re clear about what happened here: These guys played at Madison Square Garden tonight and they did so without their best defender. They got out-rebounded 58-32, which is hard to do, and gave up 29 offensive rebounds, which is hard to do, too. They missed seven free throws. A freshman walk-on played nine minutes. Most of the team was in foul trouble most of the night. And Stephen missed more shots than he has in goodness knows how long.

And they won.


In The World’s Most Famous Arena.

And when Stephen hit that first late three deep from the left wing, and then that second late three deep from the right wing, ESPECIALLY that second late three, this place was nothing but noise for No. 30 and the rest of the kids from the village.

“He is,” McKillop told all the people at the press conference after the game, “a very, VERY rare young man.”

1 comment:

waitress said...

I'd love to have had a mic on Huggins...