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Is Steph Curry’s new sneaker too vanilla? Looks fine to this middle-aged dad

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors celebrates against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter in Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals. Getty Images

Stephen Curry’s got a new basketball shoe out. It’s black and yellow, with black-and-yellow strings and grooves running horizontally across the top. It looks like the sneaker equivalent of a menacing Humvee. Or what you’d wear to dunk a basketball on the moon.

He’s getting congratulations for making a comeback from the plain white Curry 2 Low “Chef” shoes his sponsor, Under Armour, released last week, into a swirling tornado of internet hate:

And perhaps the worst burn of all:

The late night comics even joined in the fun.

When Steph defended the shoe in a post-game press conference, saying he thought they were “fire” – that’s as in, “they’re hot” for you old folks – people in the room laughed. They assumed he was being sarcastic, making a joke.

Well, all you snark-happy, sneaker-worshipping millennials might want to avert your eyes, because what I’m going to say next might leave them permanently crossed.

There was nothing wrong with the plain white kicks. Put Steph’s low-tops on your feet and you’re free to splash color all over the rest of your body. They can complement your look instead of dominate it. Are they the best all-white shoes I’ve ever seen? Nope. That’d be Adidas’ classic Stan Smith shoe:

ADIDAS-STAN-SMITH-2014-3

That shoe never goes out of style.

But I would say that, right? I’m a dad. A middle-aged one. I’ll wait while you cool kids finish your snickers and eye-rolls.

So here’s my point. It’s a simple one I’ve tried (with mixed success) to impress on my two kids. Everything in your wardrobe doesn’t have to scream “LOOK AT ME!” As you get older (and, ahem, wiser) you realize everything in your life can’t be all exclamation points. You can’t fight every battle, win every argument, or finish first every time.

You’ve got to mix a few gentle commas and understated periods in there somewhere or your head – not to mention your wardrobe – will explode.

Yes, people always start saying these kinds of things as they reach those mid-life years. But there’s a reason why that happens.

Because it’s true! A well-timed whisper sometimes conveys a lot more meaning than a shout.

Just look at Curry himself, for example. Charlotte’s favorite homegrown superstar athlete is not all that, well, flashy as an athlete. At least not in the Jordanesque sense.

Can Steph dunk? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do it. Earlier in the playoffs, Oklahoma City’s human blur of a point guard, Russell Westbrook, blasted past Steph repeatedly on the way to the rim for vicious dunks. LeBron James outweighs Steph by what? Sixty pounds maybe? And yet he looks to be almost as fast as Steph on the court.

So, no, Steph isn’t the most athletic guy. That’s why so many teams overlooked him in the draft. He didn’t appear to be the prototypically gifted athlete.

And now look at him. He’ll still never jump out of the gym, but he’s taken two basic basketball skills any vertically-challenged guy can master – shooting and dribbling – and turned them into an art form. As his Golden State Warriors take the floor tonight against James’ Cleveland Cavaliers, Steph is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA.

It’s not all about flash and sizzle (although Curry is so fantastic at shooting and dribbling that he brings plenty of sizzle to the game now, too).

So, I say lay off the Low 2 “Chefs”.

Or just sell them at a steep discount. We middle-aged dads love a good bargain.--Eric Frazier

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