OAKLAND – Stephen Curry's shadow is back.
Ralph Walker, the retired Oakland police officer who spent seven years providing security for the Warriors, most of them as Curry's personal detail, is returning after a one-year hiatus.
After so many years of following Curry around the world, Walker retired from the Warriors last July, citing the demands of a job that sometimes goes a month or more between off days.
But on Tuesday, as Curry came to East Oakland to dedicate a newly refurbished basketball court at Concordia Park, there was Walker, one eye on Stephen and the other scanning the 300 or so people in the immediate vicinity.
Walker pronounced himself refreshed and ready to dive back into the endless hours required to ensure the safety of the team's most valuable asset.
"I feel like John Wick," he said, referring to the Keanu Reeves character that came out of retirement for, well, special assignments.
Unlike Wick, who scorches earth when on task, Walker is known for his understated approach that actually seems to make him particularly effective.
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The level of comfort and trust between the two led Curry to designate Walker as one of the few individuals to be gifted with a pair of the Under Armour Curry 6 special edition shoes in June. The shoes are dedicated to Oakland, with the city's name scripted on the sides.
A few weeks later, Walker is back on the job. Maybe it was the shoes.