When Stephen Curry became big-time in the NBA scene, he and the Golden State Warriors completely changed the way that the game is played today. The NBA is currently in the 3PT era, with every team trying to gain an advantage from range. There is no player in history that has shot the ball at the same level as Stephen Curry. Curry has been dominating the NBA in his own way, and that dominance has resulted in 3 NBA championships.
Despite Curry's influence on the game of basketball and his accolades, there is some debate among fans as to where Stephen Curry stands in the ranking of all-time greats. There are some which don't even have Curry in their top 20 of all-time like Skip Bayless. Others believe that he is the greatest point guard that's ever lived. The truth is probably somewhere in between. In this article, we will make the argument that Stephen Curry is already a top 10 all-time player, albeit tied with some other greats of the game at the 10th slot.
Stephen Curry Has A Solid Number Of Accolades
Stephen Curry is a two-time MVP and the only unanimous MVP in the history of the game. He is also a 3-time champion and a 6-time All-NBA selection. His peak has been nothing short of dominant, and his accolades support that. The one thing that somebody can hold against Curry is his lack of Finals MVP awards. While you can argue that Curry deserved the 2014-15 Finals MVP, the fact remains that currently, that is one of the individual awards missing from his trophy cabinet. While Stephen Curry has many accolades, there are definitely players with better Hall of Fame resumes.
The players above Stephen Curry in the all-time list are players who have won multiple championships along with impressive individual resumes. Michael Jordan and LeBron James are both in their own category award-wise, with both having 4+ MVP awards and 4+ Finals MVP awards. Next, we have players like Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, both with 5+ championships, and more overall accolades than Curry.
After the top 4 players, we have Shaquille O'Neal, who is one of the people who actually managed to 3 peat, and he has 3 Finals MVPs to show his dominance in the Finals. Magic Johnson is ahead of Stephen Curry based on individual accolades and championships. Tim Duncan has 5 championships and possesses more defensive awards than Curry. Bill Russell is quite possibly the most winning player of all time, with 13 championships, albeit that was at the early stages of the NBA, hence his lower ranking. Larry Bird has the same amount of championships as Curry, but he also has more Finals MVPs and regular-season MVPs than Curry. The top 9 players all have an argument to be ahead of Stephen Curry based purely on accolades.
It also has to be said that a lot of these players have won without an extremely talented superteam, while two of Curry's championship wins came from the dominant Warriors' superteams with Kevin Durant. While Stephen Curry may not be a top 9 player, he definitely has an argument to be 10th. However, he does have some competition for that 10th slot.
Steph Curry vs. Wilt Chamberlain vs. Hakeem Olajuwon
There are multiple players who have an argument to be in the 10th slot, and Stephen Curry is one of them. The other two names that should be considered are Wilt Chamberlain and Hakeem Olajuwon. Both were dominant centers, who each have a case to be named to the 10th place on the all-time list.
Hakeem Olajuwon led the 6th seed to a championship in 1995, while also beating a young Shaquille O'Neal in the NBA Finals. He was the only superstar on his team, and his championship has been held in high regard by many NBA fans. There is also the fact that Olajuwon won the championship in 1994 while dominating another prominent big man in Patrick Ewing. Hakeem Olajuwon also has many accolades overall, including 2 DPOY awards and 1 MVP award in 1993-1994. Olajuwon is viewed as one of the most complete big men that has ever played.
Wilt Chamberlain is a name that is known by everyone, as it is associated with many of the NBA's records. The most prominent record for Wilt Chamberlain was the 100 points he has scored in a single game, and there haven't been many in the NBA that have come close to breaking it. Wilt Chamberlain put up ridiculous numbers, which resulted in many awards. Chamberlain had 4 MVPs, 7 scoring championships, and 11 rebounding championships over his career, which shows just how dominant he was. However, the knock against Chamberlain is that he only won one championship during his prime in Philadelphia, and didn't win again until he teamed up with Jerry West on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now we get to Stephen Curry. Stephen Curry has a few arguments that show that he also deserves that 10th spot. His impact on the modern game is one of them: his elite shooting ability transformed the game, and today, we see teams attempt many more 3PT shots because of his influence. the 3 NBA championships are also in play, as well as the unanimous MVP during the 2015-16 season. Curry is known for being the greatest shooter of all time, but really, we should be talking about him as one of the greatest scorers of all time, especially after witnessing him this season. No, he doesn't have a Finals MVP, but anyone who has watched the Golden State Warriors play in recent memory can attest to how Curry was the most important player on the team during their Finals runs. While Stephen Curry isn't above the two centers mentioned before, there is no definitive way to say that he is below them either. Stephen Curry deserves to be in the top 10 rankings, although there are other contenders for his spot in the pantheon of greats.