One NBA analyst is disputing the notion that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry should be ranked among the NBA’s greatest players after winning NBA Finals MVP last season.
Rob Parker stated (at the 7:10 mark) on “The Odd Couple” podcast that Curry’s legacy would be severely diminished had his team not also captured the 2017 and 2018 NBA titles.
“I get why he is saying it, because he won the Finals MVP even though you don’t put much stock in it,” Parker said. “So, that was something for him, and I think that’s probably why he says it. But, Steph, if you take those two away, you’re not a top 10 or 15 player that everybody is talking about.”
Curry has been a part of four different NBA championships during his career with the Warriors. Title runs in 2015, 2017, 2018 and this past June have been due in part to major contributions by the veteran guard.
Along the way, he’s shown off his amazing shooting range that has often resulted in shots far behind the 3-point line. In addition, he ranks among the greatest free-throw shooters in NBA history.
Yet, before being tabbed as the 2022 Finals MVP, his production during those past Finals appearances had been overshadowed by those of his teammates.
In 2015, Andre Iguodala was named Finals MVP, and Kevin Durant was then given the award in 2017 and 2018.
During the 2017 NBA Finals, the Warriors jumped to a 2-0 advantage in their series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Late in Game 3, Durant’s clutch shot won the game for the Warriors, who then went on to capture the title in five games.
One year later, a late blunder by the Cavaliers in Game 1 helped cement an important Warriors victory. Durant then hit another clutch shot late in Game 3 to help Golden State to a four-game sweep and was again recognized for his efforts in the series.
Curry certainly aided the Warriors in those series but seemingly wasn’t seen as the main cog in the team’s efforts. That changed when he averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in the six-game Finals victory over the Boston Celtics three months ago.
Parker’s opinion is likely not universally shared by other basketball fans. Former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas would no doubt strongly object, especially since he considers Curry the greatest player ever among those under 6-foot-4.
However, in the end, every fan will have his or her own opinion to share. Whether or not Curry ranks among the very best in basketball history is a debate that may continue for decades to come.