I remember back in 2008, during the first round of the NCAA tournament I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch the #1 overall seed who was UNC play against Arkansas in the 2nd round. The Razorbacks had just beaten Eric Gordon and the Indiana Hoosiers in the 1st round and would be doing well to keep the margin of victory below 30. Moments before I settled in for this game I thought watching Georgetown work over Davidson for the 2nd half in the first game of a two game set would make for some moderately entertaining basketball. Moderately entertained I was, because that Davidson team, featured amongst a team of scrubs one, Stephen Curry, son of former NBA star Del Curry and brother of Duke standout Seth. In that game Curry could not miss, and his Davidson Wildcats would go onto upset a Hoyas team packed with future NBA hopefuls including Roy Hibbert and Patrick Ewing Jr. “Steph Curry is as pure as driven snow” is how I would’ve described that moment… Pure he was, and pure he has been.
This is not a debate of whether or not Curry is the greatest of all time, or whether or not he even projects to be anywhere close. He’s still got 4-6 years if healthy of producing at close to his current clip, so his body of work is still underdeveloped. The conversation of Curry’s greatness relative to players like Jordan, Bird, Magic and Lebron is fruitless… for the time being, but there are a few things that we know. Right now Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter not only in the NBA, but in the world, and if there was one person I needed to take a shot for everything I owned, it would be without reservation him. Curry’s current pace is unprecedented, and if he keeps this up for just a few more years, he will retire as the greatest shooter of all time, regardless of how many rings he wears. Where does the greatest shooter fall in terms of greatest basketball player ever?? I’m not sure, but I know it’s up there. Curry will never be the best rebounder, nor will his defense ever be something that one could use to support their argument for Curry being the best ever. Winning six rings is still a tall order, and Curry will never, ever, be able to guard two positions let alone all five like Lebron James. So just like Bill Russell may not be on your Mount Rushmore of greatest ever despite being the greatest CHAMPION ever… Curry may not make your list for being the greatest ever… and that’s perfectly fine by me. Regardless of where you place Curry, check out the below stats that are actively part of NBA history, and which should be considered by all NBA fans.
CURRY BY THE NUMBERS
Curry has made 288 three pointers breaking his own record set last year for deep balls made in one season. It was in February when this happened. He has more three pointers made by himself then the entire Minnesota Timberwolves roster… did I mention this happened in February. Curry’s defense is much improved as well, as he’s averaging more blocks and steals this season than he ever has. Still not convinced Curry is the greatest shooter ever??? This is Curry’s 6th full season in the league without a major injury four of the top ten all time three point shooting seasons are owned by Curry, including the top three. What about the Team? The team is on an epic pace as well, with 26 games remaining the Warriors only need to go 22-4 to be the winningest team in NBA history a distinction that will already add to the “Legend” status Curry has achieved thus far. The numbers don’t lie, and you shouldn’t lie to yourself by trying to maintain that someone out there is better right now.
CURRY THE ATHLETE
When have you ever seen a player that’s a threat to score as soon as he crosses mid-court? You haven’t, and Curry’s elusiveness beyond the perimeter makes him a matchup nightmare. Defenders are too often caught in indecision on whether or not to contest a shot with a hand in his face or lay back so he doesn’t drive, and in the split second they are making their decision, Curry already has his shot off. He’s got some of the best handles in the league and can hit from anywhere on the court.
CURRY THE CELEBRITY
Curry is as good at bringing awareness to the game on an international level as anyone. He has his own shoe line with Under Armor, that has infants sizes, and is a marketing and endorsement dream. Domestically his jersey is the top selling jersey in 47 states and he continues to bring positive energy by being an ambassador for the game while maximizing efforts geared towards brand recognition.
No one knows how this book is going to end, namely because the final chapters are yet to be written, but one thing is for certain Stephen Curry is currently the best basketball player in the world, he is projected to have the best scoring season in NBA history, and further projections, show him having the greatest statistical career of anyone anywhere. The scary part is, there’s room for improvement, and when those adjustments take place – what will we say then?