There’s no doubt Stephen Curry is one of the greatest athletes to ever play basketball. Steph is a winner, but more importantly, he is a leader. Coming into the 2020-21 NBA season, many doubted if Steph could lead this Golden State Warriors back to the playoffs. In past years in their deep playoff runs, Steph always had help. With Kevin Durant now on the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thomspon out again due to injury, Steph is the sole star.
Ever since his MVP seasons in 2015 and 2016, Steph has not only dominated the game, he has changed it. Curry shifted the norm of shooting in basketball from standard two-pointers and occasional three-pointers to launching shots from as far as half-court without hesitation. Teams now realize they can outscore opponents with more three-pointers, even if they cannot make them as often as Steph. We now have players who play center and power forward shooting threes. This allows teams to space the floor better because the paint is no longer filled with big men in the post. Steph has also influenced the younger generation of basketball players by allowing us to see that a long-distance shot is a smart decision.
When you watch Steph Curry and the shots that he makes, you realize that this is not luck. It is the result of incredible skill and countless hours of practice. Curry is so talented that when he actually does pull up for the three, you already know the shot is going in. Opposing players guarding Steph know that he is going to shoot the shot from deep, but there is still nothing they can do about it. Steph has proven that height doesn’t matter when you have the skill and work ethic. Because Curry is not a huge player, he has to adapt to the fact that he cannot always drive to the hoop. Using his dribbling and quick moves, Steph can create enough space to shoot the three.
Steph Curry is a great leader. When you think about all the deep playoff runs the Warriors have had since 2015 and all the championships they have won, Steph Curry has always been that guy. The spotlight is always on him, but he also helps lift his teammates to greater heights. For example, look at this season. Klay Thompson and James Wiseman are out. Steph has averaged a consistent 30 points per game this season, leading the NBA. He has encouraged teammates like Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole to step up their games, and he has pushed the Warriors back into playoff position. Just this past month, Steph broke a league record of 96 threes and has willed himself in the MVP conversation.
After all these years of watching Steph play, you have to stop and realize that we are witnessing greatness. Steph Curry is a once-in-a-lifetime talent and there may never be another player like him again. Do not take him for granted because, in a few years, he will no longer be drilling threes from halfcourt and leading us to championships. We will have to think back to the good times. Enjoy watching Steph while you can because nothing lasts forever.