Hello from Lake Hartwell on the South Carolina/Georgia border. My parents bought a lake house here in 2011, just in time for me to never be home for the summer again. I've been able to come back to our little slice of paradise every so often and I can never stay long enough. This comes on the heel of my trip to New Orleans, which I'll write about below. But first, Mr. Curry.
Steph Curry, Basketball God
I was shocked when I heard Mike Wilbon yesterday comparing Steph Curry's Game 4 performance to MJ's flu game and other iconic performances in NBA history. Wilbon has seen more basketball than I have and if he stopped yesterday and I watched for the next 30 years, he'd still be in the lead, which is exactly why I was surprised.
Curry's 17 point fourth quarter left everyone speechless. He clearly wasn't himself earlier in the game. He's coming off an injury. He's forced to blow by his minute restriction because Shaun Livingston got ejected for the first time in his career, and he came through with the best overtime performance by an individual player anyone had ever seen.
Wilbon wasn't alone. Steve Kerr was at a loss for words. He played with Jordan and was on the court in the flu game. This wasn't being the prisoner of the moment, Curry was just that good.
That said, this was a second round playoff game. This isn't The Finals. That's what leaves me so astonished that these people who have seen so much basketball are willing to put this performance on the same level of those. It got me thinking to why and I think there's a plausible explanation: Steph Curry has elevated himself to the level of "Basketball God."
It's not just about being a now two-time MVP. It's not just about the championship last year. It's not just about the 73 wins this year. It's about all of that combined with rising to the occasion 100% of the time. The Warriors won 73 games this year because seemingly every time they were in real trouble, Curry would bail them out. His batting average feels like 1.000. That is the mystique that few in the history the game have ever achieved. Curry's done it in essentially two years with a style and a flare all his own.
New Orleans Review
New Orleans is the best. It's such a unique city that I've fallen in love with over the four times I've visited it. I figured it would be fun to share some of the best things I did from this trip in case there's anyone out there who is visiting soon. And by did, I mostly mean ate.
Best Breakfast: The Ruby Slipper
Get the Eggs Cochon. Thank me later. It might be the best thing I've ever eaten. You'll have to wait, unless you download the "Now Wait" app and sign in before you go, but it'll be worth the wait. Eggs Cochon is an eggs benedict, New Orleans style.
Applewood braised pork debris on top of a homemade biscuit topped with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. It's a flavor explosion in your mouth. I don't know how else to describe it. I'm hungry again and I just finished breakfast.
Best Lunch: Willie Mae's Scotch House
Willie Mae's is a New Orleans legend, consistently voted one of the best fried chicken spots in the country. It lives up to that billing every time. It's perfectly crunchy, flavorful and complimented with sweet tea.
Best Dinner: Restaurant Rebirth
In a town full of legendary restaurants, it's not often a new restaurant can break into the upper echelon. Restaurant Rebirth has. It opened in December of last year and every review I saw said it was excellent. We went and were blown away. From the fried oyster and angel hair pasta appetizer to our main courses to the cafe au lait creme brûlée (with beignets!) dessert, it was all exquisite.
Best Dessert: Brennan's
Brennan's is one of the New Orleans legends. It's exceptional and exceptionally expensive, which is why we only went for dessert. Brennan's invented Banana's Foster and going there for just that is a move that should be a part of every New Orleans trip, no matter how short the trip is.
Best Activity: New Orleans School of Cooking
A food activity? Shocker, I know! Chef Kevin Belton led a demo and lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking. He was exceptionally entertaining and just as good of a cook. The gumbo he made for us was the best gumbo we had all weekend. The pralines made all pralines I'll eat in the future inferior. Fresh pralines are the only pralines.
I would (and will) do this again every time I'm in New Orleans to learn how to make different things. The menu changes daily. Belton is amazing. What a morning/afternoon.
- Free Wheelin Bike Tours: It was hard to not put this as my favorite activity. A bike tour of the city led by a native New Orleanian let us learn an immense amount about the city and see some of its coolest sites.
- Killer Po Boys: This French Quarter haunt doesn't have your traditional po' boys, so it doesn't have the rep of some of it's sammich brethren, but it's really, really good. Highly recommend it.
- Superior Seafood: The crawfish cornbread was amazing, as were the fried green tomatoes. One of the best things we ate. They also have an amazing happy hour of $.50 oysters and 2-for-1 frozen drinks.
Thanks for reading. Perhaps a podcast coming by the end of the week, but I'm back on a full schedule next week no matter what.