December 3, 2022

It’s not accurate anymore to say that Stephen Curry is not respected by his peers, the media, or even by random jerks on Twitter. It sure used to be. It took a long time for many people to simply accept, without qualification, his permanent status. But there is still some absurdity left. The latest example comes from former NBA player Mike James.

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

This is not the problem. Reasonable minds can vary as it relates to the top five players in a very talented and deep league at the moment. James’ reasoning for leaving Carrey was too tired and wrong.

“Steve, how he plays and how he gets things done, it’s just kind of one dimensional sometimes,” James said. “He’s not the main ball player much, and for the goalkeeper that kind of bothers me.”

“I think these five other people can do whatever they want to do with any team in the world right now,” James added. “I just don’t know about it for Steve. It’s a bit vague for Steve… If you put him in Minnesota, he’d still get killed, but I don’t know if he’d be the same.”

here we go again. Steve is only Steve because of the Warriors system. It’s so silly that it hardly warrants a response, but it’s a quiet weekend in early August and I don’t have much to write about. Even more ridiculous is the one-dimensional mark that James is trying to put on Carrie. The fact that he’s not the primary ball wizard, which James is referring to, is exactly what makes him not a one-dimensional.

There has never been, in the history of basketball, any goalscorer more lethal in terms of ability on and off the ball. Start. Not even close. If you want to say Luka Doncic is better than Curry, that’s fine, but don’t back it up with something one-dimensional. Luca only knows how to play with the ball in his hands. Have him start running around the screens and shooting triples from his spot and see how effective he is.

Curry is a three-tier scorer. He shines on the edge, in the short and long midrange, and is clearly a 3. He can score dribbling, stopping capture, on transition, and yes, in isolation, any basketball player would be smitten with until the end of time — 71 percent of Curry’s buckets in the last NBA Finals were unaided.

Curry is a world-class ball player, a magical passer-by and – when he maintains his free instincts – a great watcher and an excellent defender. Yes I said it. He is a plus defender. Although if you want to make “Carrie a product of the system of Warriors and the players around him” at least make it about the defensive side.

Trying to deny, question, or qualify anything Carrie does when abused is a very bad look. And I just love that Carrie noticed. At his annual camp in Curry, he was asked how some of his two camps dealt against him in a 1-on-1 match.

“Oh, it’s all bad for them,” said Carey. “Everything is bad for them, even if you are one-dimensional.” There was a moment of silence, then Carrie couldn’t contain his laughter. “I’m sorry, I’m petty. I’m so petty! Keep it up, I love this so much.”

Once again, I love this. It’s fun, yes, but it illustrates the endless search for motivation from a guy who has absolutely nothing to prove. Guys like Carrie, who are counted at any point in their lives, no matter how high they end up being, never lose the chip on their shoulders. This is how they stay on top for so long.

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