NBA

Stephen Curry hits back at ex-NBA player’s ‘one-dimensional’ ridiculous comment

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It’s no longer really accurate to say that Stephen Curry is disrespected by his peers or the media or even random idiots on Twitter. It was safe before. It took a long time for many people to simply accept his all-time status wholeheartedly. But there is still some residual ridiculousness lying around. The latest example comes from former NBA player Mike James.

James, if you don’t recall, recorded 49 career NBA games with the Suns, Pelicans and Nets during the 2017-18 and 2020-21 seasons, though he’s playing in Europe these days. On a recent episode of the Players Choice podcast, James named his top five players in the league: Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Luka Doncic. You will notice that Curry has disappeared.

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That’s not the problem. Reasonable minds may disagree when it comes to the top five players in what is currently an extremely and deeply talented league. It was James’ justification for leaving Curry that is so tired and fake.

“Steph, how he plays and how he does, it’s a bit one-dimensional at times,” James said. “He’s not the primary ball handler much, and for a playmaker, that bothers me a bit.”

“I think those other five can do whatever they want in any team in the world right now,” added James. “I just don’t know about Steph. It’s a little murky for Steph… If you put him in Minnesota he would still kill, but I don’t know if it would be the same.”

Here we go again. Steph is only Steph because of the Warriors system. This is so ridiculous it barely deserves a response, but it’s a quiet weekend in early August and I don’t have much else to write about. Even more ridiculous is the one-dimensional label James tries to put on Curry. The fact that he’s not the primary ball handler, which James points out, is precisely what makes him NOT one-dimensional.

There has never been, in the history of basketball, a deadlier scorer in terms of on and off the ball ability. Never. Not even close. If you mean Luka Doncic is better than Curry, fine, but don’t back him up with the one-dimensional thing. Luka ONLY knows how to play with the ball in his hands. Have him start running around the screens and pull the plug three times and see how effective he is.

Curry is a three-tier scorer. He is off at the rim, in the short and long midrange and obviously from 3. He can score from the dribble, from the catch, in transition, and yes, in isolation, which basketball players will be in love with until the end of time – 71% of Curry’s buckets in recent NBA Finals have gone unattended.

Curry is a world-class ball handler, a magic passer – when he keeps his freewheeling instincts in check – a terrific screen and a defender plus. Yes, I said it. He’s a more defender; but if you want to do “Curry is a product of the Warriors system and the players around it”, at least do it on the defensive end.

Trying to deny, question or qualify everything Curry does on offense is such a bad image. And I love what Curry noticed. At his annual Curry camp, he was asked how some of his campers would fare against him in a 1-on-1 match.

“Oh, everything is bad for them,” Curry said. “Everything is bad for them, even as one-dimensional as me.” There was a brief moment of silence, and then Curry couldn’t contain his laughter. “I’m sorry, I’m small. I’m so small! Keep it up, I really like this one.”

Again, I love this. It’s fun, yes, but it illustrates the relentless search for motivation of a guy who has absolutely nothing left to prove. Guys like Curry, who have been counted at all times in their lives, no matter how high they end up rising, never lose the chip on their shoulder. That’s how they stay on top for so long.

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