DALLAS — Stephen Curry looked his coach straight in the eye, accompanied by a firm handshake — no words were spoken, the bond formed by these two men needed no verbal confirmation.
Dallas Mavericks usually boastful and ever-heard AP announcer Sean Heath’s voice cracked when he called for a moment of silence before the start of the Game 4 Western Conference Finals, a rarity even though commemorations in the arena of mass shootings are as common as pyrotechnics and the eardrum. – explosive music.
It was to be anything but an ordinary game, and a fog appeared to invade the American Airlines Center on Tuesday night, with the Mavericks fending off elimination and a late run by Golden State Warriors reserves to step onto the shelf of this series with a Victory 119. -109.
Curry wasn’t in the room for Steve Kerr’s impassioned plea for gun availability legislation, but saw Kerr’s emotional and heartbreaking challenge to Congress via Twitter and posted it to his account soon after. time before the game.
Some 350 miles away in Uvalde, closer to San Antonio than Dallas, Robb Elementary School has become the last dot on the map of the United States – stained by a mass shooting that at midnight on Tuesday left at least 21 dead.
“I appreciate his leadership. It’s on everyone’s mind to get in the game,” Curry said. “It’s a bit difficult to stay focused on the basketball. It happened in this state. I have children, I take them to school every day, I drop them off.
And he expects them to get home safely, every day.
The pattern is unfortunate but familiar, one that Curry’s brother-in-law and teammate Damion Lee alluded to moments later – waking up from a nap and checking Twitter, to discover another school shooting. then check in with teammates during the bus ride to the arena, comparing notes and information.
At the end of the game, it’s nearly impossible to open a social networking app and not see an unfamiliar face but an innocent face – maybe a kid with a long caption behind him, or a teacher who has died trying to save lives.
The notion is as clear as it is inevitable, and fear is usually not far behind the initial shock.
“It’s just sad. You saw Steve’s pre-game presser. Those are my exact same sentiments,” Lee said. “It’s sad the world we live in. We need to reform this. It’s easier to have a gun than formula. It’s incredible.”
Lee used quotation marks to mean “greatest country in the world,” a common trope used to contextualize or dishonestly comfort grieving citizens whose only power is to express rage and sadness on social media.
“Since we left the shooting, 14 children have been killed 400 miles from here, and a teacher,” Kerr said hours earlier. “In the past 10 days, we’ve had elderly black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve had Asian worshipers killed in Southern California, now we’ve got kids murdered in school.
“When are we going to do something? I’m tired. I’m so tired of standing here and offering my condolences to the devastated families out there. I am so tired. Excuse me. I’m sorry. I’m tired of moments of silence. Sufficient.”
Kerr called the senators by name, speaking from his own personal experience of his father, Malcolm Kerr, being murdered in Beirut when the now Warriors coach was a star athlete in Arizona.
“Every word he spoke was powerful and meaningful,” Curry said. “I accept this challenge, I try to find ways to use my platform to bring about change. You can say what it meant to him, to take the microphone to say what he said. J appreciate his leadership.
The NBA didn’t seem to have thought of postponing the game, in part because postponements would take the season into August before an end, unfortunately, and so the game continued.
It would be unfair to attribute the result to the events of the day, because the Mavericks are doing what they have always done in the face of elimination in these playoffs: they do everything. Luka Doncic didn’t have a superhuman night, but he didn’t need one, with 30 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists on a sub-40% night.
The Warriors haven’t been great in the closing games of this playoff series — including the thumper at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies with the Warriors trailing 50.
No such derision was to be found here, with the starters ineffectual after the first quarter and taking the loss largely in stride. They led 16-13 and never again, barely registering as competitive until Golden State rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody infused the game with a burst of energy.
A 29-point lead fell to eight with the kids showing a glimpse of what they can do when they have some playing time, without looking too fazed by the playoff atmosphere. Kuminga scored 17 with eight rebounds and Moody 10, hitting a few three corners that might come in handy later.
“It’s great, they had the opportunity to go out there and make their presence felt, affect the game,” Curry said. “Build some confidence and some experience on this show and what it’s like to be on there.”
The sobering stat is this: Curry was still a talented unknown dealing with ankle issues, Kuminga was four years away from moving to the United States, and Moody wasn’t yet in college when this talk about the gun control has reached an inflection point at Sandy. Hook, Connecticut in December 2012, when children as young as 6 were shot dead.
The issue is no closer to a conclusion now than it was then, hence Kerr’s anger as he hit the desk before the game, frustrated and angry.
Both teams played and committed on Tuesday, which is more than can be said for the folks in power.