We’ve arrived at a place as a society where fans are so deferential to Steph Curry, so hopelessly enamored with his skill as a three-point shooter, that we are conditioned to believe almost any story of his unparalleled greatness, no matter how ludicrously farfetched that anecdote may be. For instance, when this clip made the rounds on social media Sunday, no one batted an eye, naively assuming—with the utmost confidence—this preposterous sequence of Curry draining not one but FIVE consecutive full-court shots had to be legitimate.
As fate would have it, our imaginations got the better of us with Janie McCauley of the Associated Press confirming the video was indeed fabricated, an internet invention staged as a promotional tool for Sports Illustrated’s upcoming photo shoot with Curry. Considering the unlikeliness of making one 90-footer, let alone five in as many tries (even an immortal like Curry is subject to the laws of physics and probability), it’s easy, in retrospect, to see how this footage was doctored, a hoax reminiscent of the late Kobe Bryant box-jumping over a moving Aston Martin. But because it involved Curry, a Paul Bunyan-like figure who, according to eyewitnesses, once ended a practice by making over 100 straight three-pointers, you can understand why so many on social media fell for it, their eyes deceived by a perfectly executed bait and switch.
The internet, of course, didn’t take kindly to being duped, venting their frustration in being lied to by the clever minds at SI’s editing department. This marks the second time in less than a week a publicity stunt has sent sports Twitter into a frenzy, following the similarly debunked myth of Drew Brees being struck by lightning while shooting a promo for PointsBet, an online sportsbook with offices in Denver, Toronto and Melbourne, Australia.
It's hard to know what’s real anymore, arguably now more than ever with the online waters irreparably muddied by trolls and clickbait. Having a discerning eye when it comes to social media doesn’t mean we have to be jaded cynics deprived of all joy and happiness, though, in this instance, Curry’s latest miraculous feat, to our collective disappointment, was faker than Carlos Boozer’s drawn-on hairline.