Greatest shooter of all time. That’s what everyone has been calling Golden State’s Stephen Curry for years, for obvious reasons. No one in the history of basketball has made more three-pointers or made the art of shooting through the hoop easier than Curry.
He deserved this distinction.
And it still seems like he was underestimated.
The fact is that Wardell Stephen Curry II is not just the best shooter of all time. It’s time to finally call him what he is – one of the greatest players of all time. Come on, include him in a conversation about the greatest of all time. It’s a debate that will never end anyway, and he’s earned the right to be there for one simple reason.
He changed the game. The three-pointer is vital right now, and Curry made it that way.
“I think he’s pretty much defined what he’s capable of,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said after the NBA Finals concluded on Thursday night with Golden State crowned champions and Curry MVP. final. “But to see how he deserved it, he’s one of the greatest ever and we all followed him and gosh it was amazing.” What series.
Yes, what a series was have Curry.
And what a player.
Curry’s place in the Basketball Hall of Fame was closed long before Thursday night, when he scored 34 points and the Warriors won their fourth title in eight years, outscoring the Boston Celtics 103-90. What that meant, however, was clear. Before the end of the game, Curry wept with joy, unable to contain his emotions any longer.
“I’m happy for everyone, but I’m thrilled with Steph,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said as champagne was poured in the champions locker room in Boston following the Golden State’s decisive win. “For me, this is his main achievement in his incredible career.”
This was his climax. For now, anyway.
There’s no reason to believe there can’t be a fifth ring for this era of the Warriors as long as a healthy Curry is in the lead.
“The best point guard of all time,” said Golden State’s Andre Iguodala.
Add this to the list too. And his on-court legend just keeps growing. Curry, 34, is stronger than ever, tougher than ever and somehow more motivated than ever. This year he already had three rings, a record with 3 points, more money than he could spend in 10 lives, and there is not a single corner of the world where he would not be known or respected. His wife Aisha is a world class chef. He made birds at Augusta National.
Curry, by all accounts, had nothing to prove.
Apparently he didn’t agree. When last season ended with a play-in loss, Curry immediately returned to work with that title in mind, knowing that few so-called experts believe the Warriors stand a chance of extending their dynasty. They had three titles and five Finals appearances in five years from 2015 to 2019, then injuries and roster changes sent them to the bottom of the NBA in 2020 and out of the playoff picture last year.
Everything is forgotten now. Curry rules again.
“Damn, we did it. It’s crazy to think about it,” Curry said. “All that talk has paid off. Manifest your destiny in a certain way, and this stubbornness – who we are is more important than what they say about us – that’s why we are here.
His resume is ludicrous: Curry is an eight-time All-Star, two-time NBA MVP, one-time unanimous scorer, two-time scorer, All-Star Game MVP, now a four-time champion—and finally NBA Finals MVP, also by unanimous decision.
Not bad for a player who was number seven in his draft class, he was kicked out of his first college practice at Davidson for being late, he had concerns about many things in his early NBA years – he was too small, his ankles were too bad – and it took him five seasons to get to his first All-Star Game.
“Every day I thank God that I am able to play this game at the highest level with amazing people,” said Curry, lying on the floor at the beginning of the celebration, tears streaming down his face, he held a game ball under his arm. . “That’s what it’s all about.”
13 years ago, few people expected this.
The night Curry was drafted in 2009, after six players who did not have NBA championships in total heard their names in front of him, the Warriors made no effort to hide their excitement.
However, it wasn’t exactly wild praise.
“He’s a guy who will fit in perfectly,” said Larry Riley, then general manager of the Warriors.
It’s probably safe to say that Riley was right. Underestimated, of course, but correct.
Now he has more.
Fourth parade on Monday. This fall will be the fourth ring. Respect must remain forever. He is no longer just a great shooter. OFFICIAL: Stephen Curry is a player of all time.
“For Steph to be the Finals MVP, I know he said it doesn’t matter… but to add that to your resume as a member, you want it,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “Well deserved for him. It was a long time in the making. But he left no doubt. Left no doubt. He carried us. And we are here as champions.”
Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for the Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds(at)ap.org
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