By Will Baldwin
Wardell Stephen Curry is not your typical NBA superstar. Not only is he skinny and short by NBA standards (generously listed at 6’3) and, even has a “baby face”, the thing that bothers his peers more than anything is his super power is a skill.
Now, that may sound crazy at first but think about it, LeBron James may be the greatest physical specimen to hold a basketball and if he is not then it may well be Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant, Curry’s teammate, is 7 feet tall yet somehow has the skills of a guard and, Giannis Antetokounmpo has a gigantic wingspan, the likes of which we have never seen on a player his size.
All these stars have physical gifts we have either never seen before or, are so special that most of the rest of us ‘normal’ humans can only imagine what it is like to have that ability. The kinds of abilities that only should be possible in NBA2k video games or in our wildest dreams, not in real life yet, these stars have them.
Stephen Curry is different.
His gift not only defies logic but, is changing basketball forever. This skinny little guy who could not even get an offer from Duke, North Carolina, NC State or even Wake Forest despite growing up in their back yard, the son of an NBA player, is now changing basketball forever.
The story has been told time and again of the little known guard shooting from quite literally everywhere, carrying tiny Davidson College to the elite eight and then falling in the draft to the Golden State Warriors where he has blossomed into the two time MVP. But what seems to get ignored is how impossible it is that a player with Curry’s athleticism and stature is changing basketball.
He is not a regular small MVP like Steve Nash or Allen Iverson, giving kids hope that size is not everything in the NBA. No, Curry is transforming the NBA draft so players like Trae Young can be selected in the top ten. He has changed how scouts look at players, he has even changed how coaches coach players. You do not have to be a traditional point guard to be successful anymore, Curry certainly is not, you just have to be able to read the defence and make the best basketball play.
Point guard used to be about setting up your teammates first and you second but now, players like Curry have shown that when they gets their own offence, that opens up the floor for their teammates. They do not have to feed them but rather attack first which creates options for his teammates second.
That, is in essence why the Golden State Warriors are virtually unbeatable when Curry is on his game. Their opponent is then forced to focus on his abilities so it completely changes the spacing his teammates get to work with.
The thing about Curry and his game, is it is quite literally something we have never seen. He is the kind of trailblazer that his peers struggle to respect. How can a player who is athletically incapable of playing top level defence and who struggles with contact on the perimeter be this good?
The answer is simple, his three point shot has revolutionized basketball.
Walk into a gym now and kids will only shoot threes because they want to be Stephen Curry. That is the Curry effect. He has changed a generation of hoopers and in doing so, stollen those kids and the media’s attention from stars who believe they are more worthy and maybe athletically they are.
But what they are not, is changing the game of basketball and, no matter how you look physically, you have to be able to respect that that is exactly what Stephen Curry is doing.