Michael Jordan doesn’t think Stephen Curry is a Hall of Famer. While speaking to Craig Melvin on “Today,” Jordan was asked if he would stick with the list of players he said would be unbeatable in a pickup game in 2013, or would his list change up a bit due to the emergence of new stars in the game today.
“I would keep the same four in a heartbeat,” Jordan explained. “When I’m going into the trenches, I have played with and all of these guys, I am going to go with who I know.”
The team that Jordan picked to run with in 2013 was Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and James Worthy. This team has enough starpower to be the greatest five to ever play together and every member of this team are Hall of Famers. The controversy of Jordan’s words does not lie in his inability to change his list, the controversy is in his response to the followup question.
“So, Steph Curry shouldn’t be offended when he watches this,” Melvin asked.
“I hope not. He’s still a great player. Not a Hall of Famer yet, though.” Jordan added. “He’s not.”
If Curry were to retire today, he would not only be a Hall of Famer but he would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. There are three reasons why Curry is currently a Hall of Famer; which are his individual numbers, he is a winner, and he has the “it” factor.
Firstly, Curry’s individual numbers that he has accumulated so far in his career are astounding. Since being drafted with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, Curry has averaged 23.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game.Curry is already known as the games greatest three-point shooter ever. He is currently behind only Ray Allen and Reggie Miller in three-pointers made with 2,483. Curry is on pace to shatter Ray Allen’s 2,973 three-pointers by the time his career is over.
Secondly, he is a winner. Since the Warriors drafted Curry they have a win-loss record of 505-299, which is a 62.8% win percentage. Curry has also lead the Warriors to five straight NBA Finals appearances, and won three championships. He has three fewer championship rings than the great Jordan and the same number of rings as LeBron James in less tries. Both of which are revered as basketball greatest players by both fans and NBA analyst. His role in the Warriors’ winning culture earned him two Most Valuable Player awards; one of which, in 2016, he was the unanimous MVP (the only unanimous MVP in NBA history).
Thirdly, he has the “It” factor. Like Jordan, Curry has his fingerprints on the history of the game of basketball. His three-point shooting ability has changed the philosophy of the way the game should be played. Curry, admittedly aided by the by the defensive rules of today’s NBA, has revolutionized the game of basketball by inspiring basketball teams, from high school to the NBA, to regularly employ the three-point shot. Analysts have referred to him as “the Michael Jordan of the three-point era,” stating that he did for the three-point shot what Jordan did for the dunk.
The only knock on Curry’s career that people point to is that he won two championships by riding Kevin Durant’s coat tail. This is an unfair assessment of Curry’s career, because his greatness is what recruited Durant to the team in the first place. It seems as if people forgot that Curry beat Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on his way to win the 2015 NBA Championship.
Due to the state of the Warriors this season, with Durant moving to Brooklyn and Klay Thompson missing most of the season due to injury, Curry will have plenty of time to showcase his skills. He will definitely be putting up more shots than he has ever done before. He may even be in the running for MVP this year depending on how well the team performs this year.
Steph Curry’s response to Jordan was as follows:
“I think I’m good, but then I’m never complacent, I know I have more to prove to myself. When you hear a guy like that who’s the greatest of all time, it’s kind of funny. Since we’ve been on this stage, we’ve heard a lot of retired guys chiming in on this generation of basketball player and evaluating talent and saying their generation was better and all that. It’s a great conversation for the fans to get in on. I know I’m in good shape for that, but I still have a lot to prove to myself.”
Curry may have more to prove to himself, but he does not have more to prove to basketball fans, analyst, and legends in regards to his greatness as a basketball player. The time of young fans wagging their tongues while driving to the basket is over. Chewing on the mouth guard and dancing around the court after making a three-pointer is the new fad.
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