Stephen Curry has had an incredible career in the NBA. From his time in college to his current status as one of the greatest players of all time, Curry’s journey has been filled with success, challenges, and moments of sheer brilliance.
College Career and Early Signs of Greatness
Curry attended Davidson College, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina. As a freshman, he was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year and quickly established himself as one of the best players in the conference. In his sophomore year, he led the nation in scoring with an average of 28.6 points per game and was named a consensus Second-Team All-American. His junior year was even more impressive, as he averaged 28.6 points per game and led Davidson to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. It was during this run that the nation truly began to take notice of Curry’s incredible talent.
Despite his success in college, there were still questions about whether Curry’s game would translate to the NBA. He was undersized for a shooting guard, and his slight frame raised concerns about his ability to handle the physicality of the NBA. Nonetheless, the Golden State Warriors took a chance on Curry, selecting him with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft.
Early Years in the NBA
Curry’s early years in the NBA were marked by injuries. He played in just 26 games during his rookie season due to ankle problems, and the following year he missed 40 games due to the same issue. There were concerns that Curry might never be able to stay healthy enough to reach his full potential.
However, Curry persevered and slowly began to establish himself as one of the league’s top players. He continued to work on his game, honing his shooting skills and developing a more well-rounded offensive game. By the 2012-13 season, he had become one of the league’s top shooters and was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
The 3-Point Revolution
It was during the 2014-15 season that Curry truly broke out and revolutionized the game of basketball. That year, he set the record for most three-pointers made in a single season with 286, breaking the previous record of 272 set by Ray Allen in 2006. Curry’s shooting ability and range forced defenses to adapt, and the 3-point shot became a much more prominent feature in the NBA. In subsequent years, other players would follow in Curry’s footsteps, but it was Curry who was the first to truly pioneer the 3-point revolution.
Curry’s success wasn’t limited to the regular season. He has also been a dominant force in the postseason, leading the Warriors to five NBA Finals appearances and three championships. In 2015, he was named the NBA Finals MVP after leading the Warriors to their first championship in 40 years. The following year, he became the first player in NBA history to be unanimously named the league’s MVP, and he led the Warriors to a record-breaking 73-win season.
Rivalry with LeBron James
One of the defining aspects of Curry’s career has been his rivalry with LeBron James. The two players have faced off in four NBA Finals, with each player leading their team to two championships. While James has generally been considered the better all-around player, Curry’s shooting ability and leadership have made him a formidable opponent. The two players have a mutual respect for each other, and their battles on the court have been some of the most thrilling in recent NBA history.
Elevating His Teammates
While Curry’s individual success has been remarkable, what sets him apart is his ability to elevate his teammates. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have both benefited greatly from playing alongside Curry
. Thompson has established himself as one of the best 3-and-D players in the league, and his shooting ability has been a perfect complement to Curry’s playmaking. Green, meanwhile, has thrived as the team’s defensive anchor and emotional leader, and Curry’s unselfishness has allowed him to take on a larger role in the team’s offense.
Even when the Warriors added Kevin Durant to the team in 2016, Curry continued to be the driving force behind the team’s success. He willingly took a step back to accommodate Durant, and the two players formed one of the most potent offensive duos in NBA history. The Warriors won two championships with Durant, but Curry’s leadership and unselfishness were the key factors that allowed the team to function at such a high level.
Top 10 All-Time Ranking
Given his numerous achievements and impact on the game, it’s not surprising that Curry is often mentioned in discussions of the greatest players of all time. But where does he rank among the all-time greats? While opinions on this subject will always vary, there’s a strong case to be made that Curry belongs in the top 10.
First and foremost, Curry’s impact on the game cannot be overstated. He revolutionized the way basketball is played, transforming the 3-point shot from a novelty into a weapon that every team now uses. His shooting ability has forced teams to adapt defensively, and his influence on the game will be felt for years to come.
In terms of individual accolades, Curry’s resume is impressive. He’s a two-time MVP, a three-time NBA champion, and a six-time All-Star. He’s led the league in scoring, steals, and free-throw percentage, and he’s set numerous records along the way. His shooting ability is unmatched, and his ball-handling and playmaking skills are among the best in the league.
But what really sets Curry apart is his leadership and ability to elevate his teammates. The Warriors have been one of the most successful teams of the past decade, and Curry’s unselfishness and ability to create opportunities for his teammates have been key factors in that success. He’s made players like Thompson and Green better, and his willingness to take a backseat to Durant is a testament to his team-first mentality.
When considering Curry’s place in the all-time rankings, it’s important to remember that he’s not finished yet. He’s still playing at an incredibly high level, and there’s no telling how many more records he’ll set or championships he’ll win before he hangs up his sneakers. But even at this point in his career, it’s clear that Curry belongs among the greatest players of all time.