At the end of the 2011-12 NBA season not many people thought much of Steph Curry. He was a great shooter for Golden-State but as a team they weren’t doing very well and Curry had constant ankle problems which many people thought would plague him throughout his career.
But next season when he was fully healthy, Curry exploded onto the NBA landscape highlighted by a 54 point game in Madison Square Garden. Suddenly Curry was not only launching threes from everywhere on the court but his amazing handle made for some incredible highlights and to make matters better his team was winning. They made the Playoffs that year and pushed the Spurs to 6 games in the 2nd round.
From then on Curry has become one of the best players in the NBA and the greatest shooter in NBA history. Many people now have Curry as the 2nd greatest point guard ever behind the great Magic Johnson, and I am the same and here’s why;
4. Impact On The Golden-State Warriors
Curry is in his second year of his record NBA contract worth over $201 million, yet he is still hugely underpaid. Steph Curry and his playing style are one of the big reasons why Golden-State is one of the most valuable franchises in all of sports.
Curry is a hugely exciting player to watch with his shooting and ball-handling. A player’s legacy is hugely affected by the effect he has on the significance of his team. Michael Jordan put the Bulls on the map, LeBron is the Cleveland Cavaliers and Magic Johnson made LA destination showtime.
Curry is making Golden-State one of the premier destinations in the NBA, not just because they are winning, but because of the aura that has been generated partly by Steph’s influence. That alone is extremely impressive.
3. That 2015-16 Season
Ok so the 2015-16 Golden-State Warriors weren’t the best team in NBA history; they lost to LeBron and the Cavs in the Finals but they did break the 96 Bulls 72-10 regular season record and Curry was easily the biggest reason why.
Curry was the first unanimous MVP in league history after leading the league in scoring, steals and free-throw percentage along with hitting a mind-boggling 402 threes. That’s 78 more threes than the next best season, which of course Curry has to his name as well.
That team had everything; great offense, great defense, highlight plays, grind out victories and a great story as well. If it hadn’t been for LeBron and Kyrie that team would be considered the best team ever and Golden-State has Steph to thank for all the memories.
2. 3 Rings And Counting
One of the most important factors when considering how great a player is/was is how many titles he has won. Winning is the most important thing you can do as an NBA player because that is the whole point of playing the sport.
Curry has led the Warriors to 3 titles in 4 years and they are the overwhelming favorites to win it all again this year. Winning 1 title is hard enough, back to back is tremendous but 3-peating is something that only transcendent teams and Curry now has the chance to win his 4th ring in 5 years.
Other point guards on the top 10 list are players like John Stockton, Oscar Robertson and Isaiah Thomas. Stockton has no rings and the other 2 only have 1 or 2 rings themselves. Curry could easily have 5 rings by the time he retires which would put him in heavy contention for number 1 on that list.
This is so obvious I feel like I don’t need to mention it. Curry is easily the greatest shooter the world has ever witnessed. Curry will breeze past the like of Reggie Miller and Ray Allen to be the all-time leader in career 3 pointers.
He has changed the game with his incredible stroke. Now more than ever before teams are shooting 3s thanks to the influence of Curry. Great players are always mimicked by the younger generations and the future will be full of marksmen thanks to the talent and tireless hard work that Curry has put forward.
Magic and Larry Bird saved the NBA in the 80s, MJ made it Global in the 90s, Kobe and LeBron pushed the boundaries in the 00s, but Curry has taken the NBA even further. People can relate to Curry a lot more than they can with LeBron or Kobe or Michael Jordan. The 3 latter guys I mentioned are all really really tall compared to the average viewer.
The average height in the NBA is 6 foot 7, the average height for men in the US is around 5 foot 10. Curry is still tall at 6 foot 3 but he’s short enough so viewers say to themselves, “yeah, I can do what Curry does, he’s not that tall and he’s doing it so why not me?” He made people feel more connected with the NBA whereas before it the audience marveling at these giants battling each other on the court.
The lowest Curry has shot the 3 for a single season is 41.1% but he often shoots around the 45% mark even though opposing teams spend days trying to figure out how to guard him. It’s not only his great stroke that is the problem; the combination of his shooting and his amazing handle means that he can create his own shot whenever he wants whilst also posing the biggest catch and shoot threat in the NBA.
Curry is legitimately in range as soon as he steps over half court. We should be down on our knees thanking the basketball Gods that his ankle problems weren’t serious so that we got to see this player transform for a skinny little kid from Davidson to one of the best and most exciting players we’ve ever seen.