Stephen Curry is a player who is well known for being the greatest shooter that the NBA has ever seen, and changing the way that basketball is played. Due to his influence, we've seen the number of 3PT attempts shot by teams drastically increase.
Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet has recently lauded Stephen Curry's impact on the game and even claimed that Stephen Curry "made it possible" for him to be in the NBA. VanVleet is also a player that is known as a good shooter, shooting 38.4% from beyond the arc over the course of his career.
He made it possible for me to be in the NBA first and foremost, with the 3PT shot being where it is. I’m not sure my career would look the same if I wasn’t allowed to take the 3s I’m allowed to take and work on my game that way to be able to expand my game.
I remember being in college, me and my assistant coach Greg Heiar, we would watch their games, we'd study his film, and we would go work out and see how we could implement some of those things. Obviously, he's got a special gift in terms of shooting the ball. But he's much more than that as a player. I study all the greats and Steph is definitely one of those guys that I've taken a lot from.
There is no doubt that Stephen Curry's success has shown a lot of smaller guards with shooting ability a way in which to play. Shaquille O'Neal once stated that Stephen Curry has given "a lot of little guards" a chance, and it's clear that Fred VanVleet believes that his success is partly due to Stephen Curry's influence on the game.
Fred VanVleet is currently playing at an All-Star level, averaging 19.5 PPG and 6.8 APG this season. This is arguably the best individual season of his career. The long-range shot is one of VanVleet's best weapons, and as he said, it's unclear if he'd be able to reach this level without Curry paving the way.