Recently, ESPN polled 25 NBA people--executives, current players and coaches--and asked them to list the top 30 point guards in the league right now.
Here's the top two:
1. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (732 points, 13 first-place votes)
"He might be an alien. I've never seen anyone like him before. His athleticism and antics are off the
charts." -- NBA executive
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (727 points, 9 first-place votes)
"Maybe the best shooter we've ever seen in the NBA off the dribble. Probably the leading candidate for
MVP this year." -- NBA executive
Chris Paul (652 points, 3 first-place votes), Kyrie Irving (630 points), and Damian Lillard (614 points) rounded out the top five.
For the purpose of this article, we'll concentrate on Russell and Steph. [[I'm aware that Chris Paul has been, and arguably still is in some circles, considered the top PG in the league, but his highlights aren't as fun, so I left him out of the article. If you go looking for video, it's mostly just him bitching at refs and sliding under shooters and making crazy stink faces. Ha! Boom! Shade thrown.]]
Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook represent two polar opposites of the modern-day NBA point guard. One is smooth, silk-like.His movements are like the subtle rustlings of bed sheets drifting around the corners of our waking-dream state--watching wide-eyed as he somehow pulls off the miraculous. The other is ferocious. A maelstrom of purpose and condensed anger packaged into a body concocted on Mt. Olympus. He charges--savage and head strong--across the proving grounds of NBA hard courts. He is action and energy incarnate.
For two young men, around the same age, playing the same position in the same era of the NBA, they differ as much as is possible.
And yet, they are drawn together, as evidenced by this latest poll from ESPN. They are like the two opposite ends of a boomerang--whipping savagely through the NBA, upending all previous notions of the "point guard position," reinventing the game--and yet returning back to the source, drawn together at their core, as the boomerang is but a single piece of wood.
Personally, I think it is impossible to name a champion. Impossible to crown a victor.
But, shit, this is sports, and y'all tune in to listen to us spout off opinions and link to funny/mind blowing vines/gifs, so here goes nothing. (All vine's and headlines--except where noted--taken from Seth Rosenthal's original posts--CHECK HIM OUT!!)
Level 1: WHAT?! WAIT, REWIND THAT!
"Stephen Curry whips a left-handed assist behind his back like it's nothing"
"This Russell Westbrook missed dunk is more impressive than most actual dunks"
Level 2: UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH??!
"Stephen Curry knew this shot was good, started celebrating immediately"
"Russell Westbrook demands that this basketball go in the basket"
Level 3: I AM AMAZED I CAN EVEN PUT ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER WHEN COMPARED TO THESE MODERN DAY SORCERERS!!
"Stephen Curry took the Clippers 1-on-4 and made them look like big hopeless idiots" (this one from Rodger Sherman)
"Masked Russell Westbrook is somehow even meaner to rims"
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I'd like to point out that all of these highlights were from the past month. (This season has been, for lack of a better word, completely f'ing bonkers.)
Life isn't fair. You and I will never ascend to such physical realms. But we can dream, and write, and contrast and compare. We can sing the praises of these guys, and we can get pissed off when they don't want to talk to us.
I don't think there is an answer to the question of who is better between Curry and Westbrook. It's a flawed premise to begin with. Each of them is dealing with a completely different skill set, in a completely different professional environment, surrounded by a completely different cast of characters and circumstances.
But, shit, I guess I'll give the edge to Steph because 1.) duh, this is the Warriors blog, not Welcome to Loud City, and 2.) THIS PICTURE:
"I wish anyone loved me as much as Bo Obama loves Stephen Curry"
.@StephenCurry30 poses w/ Bo & Sunny during his @WhiteHouse visit. More to come on his meeting with the #POTUS soon. pic.twitter.com/SsGS6h89Sy— Laurence Scott (@LaurenceScott) February 25, 2015
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[[There's so much ridiculous content from these two guys (especially collected and produced by our amazing staff at SB Nation) that I forgot to even link to these two videos.]]