Hopefully, this was a fluke. Surely we didn't see the real Stephen Curry Sunday night in Oakland down the stretch of his Golden State Warriors' 41-point smashing of the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
That said, if THIS Stephen Curry was only hiding in the shadows behind that other one for all of these years, he is on the verge of exposing himself as a fraud.
I'm trying to be kind, but what in the name of "Ned Flanders turned Bart Simpson" was Curry doing Sunday night?
He did that little shimmy thing that's getting old. He mugged for the crowd and the cameras. He even yelled his Deion Sanders version of "This is MY House," but he used an adjective before "house" that I don't think was appropriate for his six-year-old daughter watching, listening and reacting from the stands.
"A lot of it is just like talking to myself. You've got to be your biggest fan sometimes," Curry said, trying to explain his antics in the aftermath with a straight face, and I know what you're saying about the guy with the NBA's best-selling jersey forever. It's not as if he hasn't done much of this before.
Except for that bleeping thing, Curry always has been into shimmying, and he has perfected the art of playing up to his audience after big moments, and he even has plopped on his back to make snow angels on the court.
I also hear you saying Curry was just releasing a little tension after he vanished along with his legendary three-point shooting during the first two games against the Rockets when he went 2-for-13 beyond the arc. Then came Sunday, with the Warriors trying to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series despite Curry struggling in the first half after making just one trey in seven attempts.
Suddenly, to the delight of Curry and his legion of fans, he became his vintage self near the end of the third quarter after he sank a deep three to pull the Warriors closer to their 126-85 victory. He followed that with a funny face while shouting to the top of his lungs, "Come on, man," and I'll give him that one. It was meant for himself. He responded a minute later by overcoming the stifling defense of James Harden to send the packed house into a frenzy with a three-pointer from around the Golden Gate Bridge.
The shimmy followed.
During the Warriors' next possession, Curry almost dribbled the ball away, but he recovered and drove the lane for a shot that caused him to lose his mind, or maybe not.
This is MY bleeping house.
"I blacked out," Curry said later of his highly discussed (ahem) proclamation during his breakout game of the series that produced 35 points and a scolding from his mother, Sonya Curry. He told ESPN, "She already sent me two home videos, showing me the clip and playing it back. She was telling me how I need to wash my mouth out with soap. It's a message I've heard before."
Warriors guard Klay Thompson looked awkward later trying to explain why such a word would fly from the lips so loudly and so easily in public from his backcourt teammate with the reputation during his decade in the NBA as a wholesome, devout Christian, gee whiz, "boy next door," undersized superhero or something.
"I saw that. That was funny. I hope Riley (Curry's daughter) didn't see it," Thompson said of Curry making television censors cringe Sunday night in prime time. "It got Oracle Arena pretty fired up, but that's a rare occurrence. I've never really seen Steph, yeah, use that language, but the playoffs bring that out of you. So don't do that at home, kids. It's just once in a while."
Hopefully, it really is just "once in a while" for Curry.