Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is officially the NBA king of three-point shooting. This will make him statistically what he already is in fact: The greatest shooter in the game’s history. There will be stories, highlights, praise, applause and the appropriate focus on this monumental accomplishment, and on Curry’s stunning, still-running career.
Curry drilled the 2,974th three-pointer of his career on Tuesday night during the Dubs’ road game against the New York Knicks. But in front of Steph and still within his grasp stretching before him this season and likely in the seasons to come, past this singular achievement. That is a chance to do more than passing Ray Allen for the NBA’s 3-point record. This opportunity is nothing less than a shot at solidifying himself as one of the five greatest players of all time.
Curry does not fit the mold of an all-timer, and that has always been both part of his appeal with fans and part of the at-times (if now mostly expired) soft criticism from his contemporaries. Five years ago, in the midst of his run of back-to-back MVPs, more than a few handlers of NBA stars would happily order another drink if you’d humor them on the supposed overrated-reality of Curry.
He’s smaller and less-explosive looking than Jordan, Kareem, Shaq, Kobe, LeBron, etc. But greatness isn’t measured in the skills that could make something so, or in pure athletic superiority.
Sometimes one star’s greatness can be unfairly dimmed in the light of another all-time great. Think Tim Duncan aside Kobe Bryant for most of their careers. Think Isiah Thomas sandwiched between Larry Bird-Magic Johnson on one side and Michael Jordan on the other. Steph is in a similar boat.
Steph has his own unique Mount Rushmore resume, one currently incomplete for a top five all-time player but certainly within reach. He’s the greatest shooter of all time, a fact soon to be burnished by the record he has almost certainly set against the New York Knicks at the Garden.