Having met Steph Curry in person, I think I can offer an opinion which might make sense to some. Namely, very few NBA players are undeniable great. If you ask any 10 highly informed NBA aficionados to list the top 10 greatest players of all time, you’ll get at least 25 different lists. It’s impossible to prove any one list as definitively correct. However, there are a few NBA records that when considered, reflect on the holder as undeniably great!
One such record is for the most 3-point shots made in the NBA. As of today, this record belongs to Wardell Stephen Curry II. And although records are meant to be broken, this one will likely forever be held by Steph, or someone who credits him with changing the game, thereby enabling them and all future record holders to achieve that goal as well.
Shades of grey and personal bias will obscure most any attempts to subjectively define NBA greatness. But this specific record, 3-point shots made, especially considering his efficiency, lends itself particularly well to cementing Steph Curry in the annals of the NBA as one of the greatest to ever play the game. And a deserving fan favorite as well. This is proved by chants of “MVP” and cheers in opposing team’s arenas as each made-three got Steph closer to, now past, this coveted record. Understandable, especially in consideration of the following 3 takes:
- His stature. When considering most players in the NBA, or many other sport for that matter, all-time greats, such as Wilt and Lebron (often know by just one name) are arguably a unique and unworldly combination of athleticism, intelligence, strength and enormous height (a distinct advantage in the NBA). By all accounts, when Steph was considering where to play college ball, except for Davidson, no other college had interest in him. This, despite his father Dell having played in the NBA for over a decade! Steph’s intelligence and high basketball IQ were about the only commonalities with the likes of Wilt and Lebron, both physical specimens as early as Jr. high. Steph looks more like everyone else than a professional basketball player, and that makes him relatable.
- His Leadership. He is the only unanimous MVP in the history of the NBA, period. And yet, also universally well- liked, respected, and cared about by his teammates. He cares more about winning than his personal stats, or his appearance. He helped his team win a championship without Kevin Durant, then gladly deferred when necessary, by adjusting his game, so his team could win more championships with Kevin Durant. And this year yet again, Steph’s team is considered by many as a contender to win another championship. Without Kevin Durant and against several “super teams” which many considered superior than Steph’s Golden State Warriors.
- His dedication and humility. Despite being the son of a famous father, raised in affluence, and being his own self-made billionaire, Steph’s ethics keep him working hard and treating others with a surprising degree of kindness for someone in his very expensive shoes. It’s not a question of remembering where he came from, it’s about an impressive self-awareness which allows him to stay grounded. He clearly understands how fortunate he is and chooses to be dedicated to his craft and courteous to others. A sort of self-imposed credo he lives by that would, quite honestly, benefit us all.
So, we can all debate, and talking heads will, where Steph Curry fits on the list of the best NBA players of all time. But his greatness is undeniable. As for me, I simply choose to enjoy the example he is to all he meets, my kids specifically, and acknowledge he’s nothing short of a blessing to his fans, his teammates, and anyone whose character would benefit from a little more humility and kindness. Wouldn’t we all?
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