THE SANTA CLARA
October 29, 2015
Stephen Curry has been overlooked his entire career. Even after winning NBA MVP and a championship last year, he’s still not getting the respect he deserves. Several preseason predictions had Curry behind Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis and LeBron James in the MVP race.
Kevin Durant played 28 games last year, James Harden choked in the playoffs and Anthony Davis has never won a playoff game. Why then are they ranked higher than the reigning MVP entering the prime of his career?
LeBron is the only legitimate challenger to Steph, but Curry proved last year in the playoffs that he was the better player. LeBron put up slightly better numbers in the Finals, but that’s bound to happen when he took 74 more shots. Curry was far more efficient, shooting 44.3% while LeBron made just 39.8% of his shots.
Still, LeBron felt the need to say he was the best in the game after he lost Game 5 of the Finals. But King James didn’t deliver a strong proclamation, just a pathetic cry for attention. LeBron quit on his team for two weeks last year to rest and won 53 games in a weak Eastern Conference. Curry won 67 games, a Championship, and did I mention he’s the MVP?
Don’t get me wrong, LeBron’s a great player, but Stephen Curry is playing on a whole other level. Curry’s the greatest shooter the league has ever seen. He broke his own record for most three-pointers in a season, and set the playoff record for three pointers as well. He led the Warriors to their first championship in 40 years and he is only getting better.
Curry put on a clinic last Saturday night against the Pelicans, scoring 53 points while tallying nine assists. The Warriors beat the Grizzlies – who made the playoffs the past five years in a row– by 50 points last Tuesday. Obviously that’s not all because of Curry, but Golden State’s high power offense revolves around him. Curry’s ability to shoot from practically anywhere spreads the floor, and his exceptional ball-handling skills and passing creates open shots for teammates. This can explain why he has already put up over 20 points in a quarter three different times in this season.
While Curry somehow keeps getting better, LeBron’s best days are behind him. James is entering his 13th year in the NBA, and has acknowledged that he’ll probably have to take some games off again to get through the season. In a league that’s increasingly reliant on the three point shot, LeBron’s playing style is quickly losing value. LeBron shot 35.4% from beyond the arc, and got worse in the postseason, making just 22.3% of his threes.
Golden State seems poised for another title this year, and it’s about time their superstar gets the credit he deserves. Last year wasn’t a fluke; Curry and the Warriors didn’t just get lucky. Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA. Period.
Andrew Slap is a junior communication major.