LeBron James was named male athlete of the decade by The Associated Press on Sunday. Even though the King had a terrific 10 years, this decision raised a lot of eyebrows around the NBA and American sports in general.
Many people consider that Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry had more reasons to earn that honor, given his dominance with the Dubs. Now, The New York Times has made the case for the 2x NBA MVP over James.
Curry won two MVPs and has three championships, but some could think the Golden State Warriors superstar wasn’t the best player in the NBA for the bulk of the decade. Further, a lot of people would tell you he wasn’t the best player in the league at any point. Yet, that’s not the main reason why he’s been considered the best player of the 2010s.
Steph was the leader of the biggest dynasty of the decade, securing three NBA titles in four seasons.
“It feels weird not to pick LeBron James here, what with him being the best player in the world and all, but Stephen Curry was the defining player of this decade. No one changed basketball the way he did, and no one captivated the world as he did. Suddenly, here was a player for whom there was no such thing as a bad shot. That’s not true for anyone besides Curry. He’s the one,” New York Times NBA editor Shauntel Lowe said.
Curry is the main responsible for the evolution of the game. We had seen all the things he brings to the table before, his hands, his skills, and accuracy, but not at his level. He was a revolution with his long-range shots, his ease to make every shot he had; it’s not a coincidence he’s considered the best shooter of all time.
His best season of the decade came during his MVP campaign in 2016. He averaged 30.1 points, 6.7 assists, and 2.1 steals, where he led the league in scoring and steals. Although that season was marked by the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-1 Finals comeback, that’s a reminder of how dominant he was.
His impact on the game will never be forgotten, as kids nowadays get inspired by him. Still, giving this honor to LeBron is just as fine seeing all the good things the King accomplished throughout this year and his 8 consecutive NBA Finals appearances, where he won three titles.