Steph Curry Is Not The Best Player In The World!!
It’s come to the point where I feel I really do need to address this, as it has become out of hand as of late.
STEPH CURRY IS NOT THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD!!
Before I start, keep in mind I am a big Steph Curry fan. I think he is a phenomenal talent, he is the best shooter I’ve ever seen, he has incredible handles, he has a lot going for him and he has the potential to be an all time great point guard in this league. However, there is one thing Steph Curry is not, and that is being in the best player in the world.
Before you start aggressively grabbing your keyboard, try listening to understand, Gongfu Tea Cup listening to reply.
First and foremost lets get something completely clear. Steph could be the best player in the NBA right now this second, HOWEVER, this does in no way shape or form give him the “best player in the world” title. He is in the best form and on one of the greatest stretches we’ve ever seen, but a player DOES NOT become the best player in the world over night, or after one outstanding season.
The below points will validate this.
Believe it or not, the game of basketball is played at both ends. Yes, there is a defensive side to the game, and guess what, it’s equally or perhaps even more
Important that the offensive side of the ball. Before you start saying he’s a great defender, let’s be real, Steph is not a great defender nor has he ever been. In fact, most of his career he’s been a poor defender. This isn’t a knock on Steph, but it is the truth. He has improved defensively over time, but it is what it is. Steph may seem to be very good defensively at times, and his overall defensive rating and stats may be good in areas, however, these can become diluted, and you must remember, he’s playing in a brilliant overall defensive unit, with some of the leagues best defenders at their positions and in the entire league in Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodola. Additionally, the Warriors may be end up being one of the greatest defensive teams we’ve ever seen as their rein continues. Steph rarely has worry if his opposition Point Guard has a big scoring night as he can lean on others around him defensively to get the job done in the end, similar to when Kyle Lowry dropped 41 against the Warriors the other night. Steph isn’t elite on defense and it’s unlikely he ever will be, and that’s ok because he’s a video game offensive superstar. Regardless, both ends are equally as important as each other and there is a big discrepancy between the two within his personal game.
As I said earlier, you don’t become the best player in the world overnight or over a short period of time. You simply just can’t. It’s not possible or even logically fathomable. There is a body of work involved that allows you to legitimately take or challenge for that title. Are we forgetting what LeBron James has done for over a decade? Are we forgetting what Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been doing for over 5 seasons now? Are we forgetting other superstars in this league that have dominated the NBA for long periods without getting the due recognition? This “jumping on the bandwagon” or getting caught up in the media hype is what causes these things to go unnoticed, and for people to create misconstrued and diluted opinions based on purely recent events and ongoings. STEPH CURRY HIMSELF HAS SAID IT WILL TAKE LONGEVITY TO MAKE HIM TRULY GREAT. So for the people arguing that this is possible right now, the man himself said that he needs to keep this up for him to enter that level of greatness.
Now, to label Steph as the best player in the world, he has to undoubtably be the best player at his position, right? This is another aspect we must look at. Steph is arguably not even the best player at this position. Remember that guy from Oklahoma? That explosive one? The one that will rip you to shreds to win a basketball game? The one who plays BOTH ends at an elite level? Yeah, him, Russell Westbrook. Steph may be playing better than Westbrook overall right this second I can agree, however, overall, Westbrook may still be this leagues best point guard taking into everything he’s done previously and the impact he has on both ends of the floor. We are very quick to forget that Westbrook plays with one of the most talented players that’s graced the NBA in Kevin Durant, and still manages to shine, is the heart of that team, registers incredible performances and has a heavy impact on both ends. I also haven’t mentioned Chris Paul, who when healthy is in the conversation at this position also, but that is for another time. People need to understand that this is not something that is clearly black and white. At this moment in time you cannot definitively say that Steph Curry is a better Point Guard than Russell Westbrook, and due to this, Curry is unable to climb the ladder even further, and be labeled the best in the world.
Steph is on one of the hottest streaks we’ve ever seen in this league. It is truly incredible, but amidst all the great performances and hype, we are quick to forget how long Steph struggled in this league before this point. We look back on his college scouting report and laugh at what was being said about him, and right now we can after what’s he’s done, but we have to remember, a lot of the concerns became true when Steph first entered the league. He was fragile, he struggled physically, his shot had to adjust to the NBA level and he had ankle problems that threatened to slow down his career. This is another point of longevity, Curry has not dominated the league long enough, to be labelled the best in the world. A player must dominate and continue to dominate this league for years to take that title and rightfully challenge for it, again something Steph himself acknowledges.
My next point is perhaps the biggest NBA fans tend to overlook, Steph’s CARRYING power or ability to carry a team or franchise. As a result of being on historically one of the best NBA teams of all time and being their best player, Steph gets all the plaudits and gets the most recognition, however due to his surroundings and overall team, people tend to forget that Steph doesn’t hold as much carrying power or influence as other superstars in this league. Without the excellent team structures, procedures and overall playing style and setup, Steph would struggle to take a team to extraordinary places almost by himself. Let’s take LeBron James for example. Clearly the best player in the world for a long time now, and as Danny Granger expertly pointed out the other day, LeBron is one of few NBA players in History that if he comes to your franchise, you are an instant contender. Steph, like most offensive powerhouses, do not possess the carrying power and influence edge. If LeBron went to the 76ers right now, they would probably be a Playoff contender. He has that much influence, demand, respect and impact on both ends for that to happen, the same cannot be said for Steph. If you swap LeBron and Steph in last year’s Finals, the Cavaliers would have struggled to win or even be close in any of the games, instead they were pushed to 6. It’s very rare to have this ability, however a player like LeBron, and to an extent Kevin Durant, are unrivaled by Steph in this category.
Most importantly, we as NBA fans must remember who has gone before Steph Curry as “the best player in the world”. Currently held by LeBron James, before LeBron, Kobe Bryant was the worlds best player. LeBron had to perform at an extremely high level to take the mantle from Bryant, to overcome that level of greatness, and this took years, multiple seasons, and MVPs to do so. Kobe dominated the league, LeBron has now dominated the league for over a decade and it is no easy feat you are talking about here. These are once in a generation or lifetime type players. Think about the names you’re dealing with here. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, these aren’t just any other players, these are legends of our game and should be in the top 5 players of ALL TIME on people’s list. You need to understand this level of greatness. It’s not a level you can just get to after 1 or 2 seasons. It’s a year after year, season after season, accolade after accolade, milestone after milestone of work to be credited with that level of basketball stardom.
In saying everything I have, I urge you, do not throw “the best player in the world” label around lightly. It is prestigious. Don’t be a prisoner of the moment. This is not a post to discredit Steph or anything he has achieved because I’ve enjoyed it just as much as you have. Also, this isn’t saying that Steph may not be the best player in the world ONE DAY because he may well and truly do it for long enough to earn that title.
In the end, Steph Curry may be playing at a very high level right now and may well and truly be the best shooter we’ve ever seen in this league, but best player in the world?
He still has a long way to go.