A couple of nights ago the Golden State Warriors went on the road to play against the Los Angeles Lakers and Steph Curry slipped while preparing to dunk the basketball. He then airballed a three and the sequence went viral on social media, with Curry being widely lampooned for the slipping dunk attempt and the airballed three point shot.
Here’s that sequence if you didn’t see it.
Steph Curry slips on a gimme layup and then airballs a three pointer pic.twitter.com/N1zL9dEvFz
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) January 22, 2019
Well, the fine folks over at SBNation, where many of the wokest sports takes regularly dwell, decided to pounce on this Curry slip as evidence of why all WNBA criticism should end.
I kid you not.
IT’S WOKE WEDNESDAY, Y’ALL! (Oprah voice) Steph Curry slipped trying to dunk the basketball proving according to @sbnation that you should like the WNBA & all WNBA critics should be silenced. Really. pic.twitter.com/evFcDtClAv
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 23, 2019
Yes, the headline of the piece is really: “Steph Curry’s failed dunk experience should silence WNBA critics.”
The subheading continues: “The Warriors superstar tried — and failed miserably — to rise up for a slam in Golden State’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night, giving us an opportunity to examine the hypocrisy of basketball fans who love Curry’s game but hate the WNBA.”
It gets worse from there.
But let’s begin with the premise of the article, which appears to be this: one of the best players in the NBA slipped while attempting a dunk so you shouldn’t be able to criticize the WNBA.
Seriously, that’s the logical premise for this entire article.
Breaking this down further the logic is essentially this: someone failed in doing something that they ordinarily could do so you should not criticize something that has nothing to do with what that person was trying to do.
Put another way, this would be like me writing a column saying, “Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey missed a field goal against the Eagles so you should not criticize Nancy Pelosi for her stance on immigration.”
I mean, sure, I could make that argument, but it would be totally nonsensical and the two concepts would be completely unconnected to each other.
Notwithstanding this tremendous stretch, SB Nation went all in to make the Woke Wednesday case.
Quoth the article:
“The important irony, of course, is that WNBA detractors like to claim the women’s game is boring because of the infrequent dunking in the women’s game. Meanwhile, Curry is the literal face of the NBA, having built a prominent career and amassed tremendous wealth on a largely dunkless game. Oh, the hypocrisy.”
First: THIS IS NOT HYPOCRISY.
If Steph Curry were eligible to play in the WNBA he would average, conservatively, 120 points per game. And people would probably watch the hell out of Steph Curry playing in the WNBA.
In fact, I would buy this on pay per view and gamble the hell out of it too.
More importantly, Curry has changed the game of basketball by doing things with his shooting THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE BY A HUMAN BEING.
It is much harder to do what Steph Curry has done — since no human has ever done it before — than it is to dunk a basketball.
Fans appreciate what Curry has done because no one else in the world can do what he does.
Having said that, Curry’s lack of athleticism is regularly criticized by some NBA fans who do not believe he is a worthy MVP candidate because of this lack of athleticism compared to other players in the league. I think this is a dumb argument, but it’s an argument that is regularly made by some basketball fans.
In fact, Curry’s own lack of dunks is frequently a topic of conversation, such that Curry’s relatively rare dunks even have millions of views on YouTube:
And his teammates even get excited when he dunks too.
So Curry can dunk, he’s just not doing it that often because he spends more time doing what he does best — shooting the basketball better than anyone in the history of the game.
The fact that Curry slipped while attempting a dunk truly has nothing at all to do with the WNBA.
But then we get to the real crux of the story.
The part where we try and make the leap to the wokest argument possible here.
“Society’s ability to embrace Curry but not, say Allie Quigley — who banked more threes in last year’s All-Star contest than anyone in WNBA or NBA history — reveals a striking double standard, underscoring that disdain for the WNBA was never about the lack of dunks in the first place.”
First, almost all disdain for the WNBA — and criticism for the league — comes when sports fans are criticized for not liking the WNBA. I also don’t like 7th grade boy’s basketball and choose not to watch it on television. That’s not because I hate seventh grade boy’s basketball players, it’s just because there are better sports entertainment options to watch.
Almost every marketing campaign for the WNBA is focused on trying to make people feel bad for not liking it.
Newsflash, that ain’t an effective marketing strategy.
Disdain for the NBA is about, follow me here, THE PRODUCT BEING SHITTY COMPARED TO MEN’S BASKETBALL.
Second, I have no idea who Allie Quigley is, but I feel confident in saying she would be somewhere around the 20 millionth best basketball player in the world if you put her alongside every male basketball player too. (And that might be generous). She was also shooting with a smaller basketball in this competition cited above which is a huge competitive advantage given that a smaller basketball fits easier into a rim than a larger basketball does. (I still don’t understand why women don’t play with the same size basketballs as men. Does this make sense to anyone else?)
But the main point here is this — Quigley and Curry aren’t remotely similar so attempting to compare them in any way is ridiculous.
Quigley is good at basketball for a woman.
Curry is good at basketball for a human.
And most people want to watch the best humans in the world play pro sports, not the 20 millionth best in the world play pro sports. There’s a reason minor league men’s pro basketball fails to draw a crowd too.
People don’t even want to watch the 500 to a thousand best men’s basketball players in minor league basketball, they want to watch the top 500 play.
If that’s true then they certainly don’t want to watch the best of a particular sex, they want to watch the best overall.
And do you know who those people are? Most men — and women — who like basketball. Women would rather watch men play basketball too. (Which is super sexist of those women. How dare they?!)
If you want to watch the 20 millionth best basketball player in the world, that’s fine, more power to you. That’s why the WNBA exists, because some people would rather watch women play basketball than men. Now that’s a tiny subset of the American sporting fan base — a tiny subset that also happens to be majority male, by the way because the majority of sports fans are male — but that tiny subset isn’t bigger because we all have many entertainment options and watching the best men play basketball is more entertaining than watching the best women play basketball.
The reason most people don’t watch the WNBA isn’t because they’re sexist or because society is refusing to embrace female athletes and their accomplishments, it’s because women athletes aren’t as good as male athletes.
If you have an issue with that, take it up with biology, which is hugely sexist.
Men are bigger, stronger and faster than women are, making them better athletes in all sports.
But sometimes men slip when they attempt dunks.
Which is why you should never criticize the WNBA ever again, guys, because that makes you neanderthals.
This has been your weekly Woke Wednesday column on Outkick.
Nominate weekly Woke Wednesday submissions by hashtagging #wokewednesday on Twitter and tagging me in the most absurdly wokest takes you find on the Internet.