There are, deservedly, more video mixtapes, mashups, loops and screen grabs of Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry performing hoops magic than there are recordings of jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. Possibly.
I like to compare Curry to The Bird, not because Parker played basketball, but because both elevated an established art form into dizzying new dimensions. Curry has transformed the old-fashioned swing of basketball jazz with a bebop virtuosity akin to Parker.
I would be reluctant to share such thoughts about Curry, perhaps the most adulated sports figure in the world today, with Partisan readers. They don’t come to the blog to yap about the entitled world of big-time sports stars, or to argue about whether the Warriors are up to the challenge awaiting them Monday when the Oakland team starts a must-win series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But a post I saw today from one of the people I follow on Twitter got me thinking otherwise. It came from Ron Rosenbaum, one of the best long-form journalists in the country since the 1970s.
Rosenbaum is a serious “literary journalist,” who has written incredibly researched books on subjects ranging from fierce scholarly battles in the world of Shakespeare studies to the haunting possibility of nuclear war.
He spent 10 years researching his 1998 book “Explaining Hitler,” detailing the different scholarly schools — from the political and pathological to the metaphysical — to try to explain Hitler’s supreme evil. It is so good, so learned and so revealing that I’ve read it twice, which I’ve done with a book only rarely.
Anyway, Rosenbaum’s tweet contained a link to an eight-minute mixtape of Curry shots, drives, passes and 32nd-note dribbling solos that is the best introduction, or greatest hits collection, I’ve seen.
And this is how Rosenbaum encourages his Twitter followers to watch the sucker: “This Steph Curry ‘mixtape’ … will lift your spirit. Forget about the 3’s, the behind the backs. Jeez.”
So I did. And Rosenbaum is right.
Take a few minutes, even if you’re not a sports fan, and watch improvisatory art at the highest level. It will lift your spirit and make you smile.