Basketball fans enjoy making comparisons. We have seen countless posts about the similarities between greats like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley put together a list looking at some of the current NBA superstars and comparing them to past legends.
Buckley included two-time MVP Stephen Curry on his list and believes the former player he compares to is the great Jerry West:
“Comparisons for Stephen Curry don’t exist. He is, in the words of two-time MVP Steve Nash, “the ultimate one-off...the evolution of basketball,” per ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. Curry normalized the 30-foot pull-up and became the first player to splash 300-plus triples in a season—by dropping 402.
History shows a few fuzzy recollections—Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had the pull-up triples, Mark Price had the rapid release and efficiency—but none that approached Curry’s peak. Pete Maravich, who had a similar mix of style, handles, range and scoring, came closer, but even he had only a single top-10 finish in MVP voting over his career. Nash matched Curry’s two MVPs but lacked the scoring punch.
With impact and accolades in the mix, then “The Logo” Jerry West looks like the answer. Maybe that’s why the basketball gods brought them together when West served as a consultant for Curry’s Warriors for six seasons.
It’s not a perfect comparison—Curry was a better dribbler, West a superior stopper who played without the three-point line (added in 1979-80)—but the 6’3” Curry and 6’2” West found their spots on the game’s all-time hierarchy in similar ways.
They could score, shoot and create for themselves or their teammates. They oozed confidence. West once said, “I’m surprised when the ball doesn’t go in the hoop.” Curry couldn’t have trademarked his off-the-dribble-from-anywhere shots without the same kind of self-belief. West is the league’s only player to win Finals MVP on a losing team; Curry is its only unanimous MVP.
West has a volume advantage on the stat sheet, but when scaled to per-36-minutes production, there’s little difference: 24.8 points, 6.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds for West; 24.6, 6.9 and 4.7, respectively, for Curry. West’s career player efficiency rating landed at 22.9; Curry’s sits at 23.8.”
West was an executive board member with the Warriors from 2011 to 2017, helping to setup the Dubs historic five-year run.
I agree with Buckley’s assertion that it is tough to find a player Curry compares to. He single-handily made the entire sport evolve and adapt to play a completely different style than the old school slower game that dominated the game since its inception.
When Curry is on the court, you always have feeling that he is going to hit his next shot. Seeing him running around like a mad man on the offensive end to get open looks is a thing of beauty. His ability to read the play, setup screens and get his shot off are incomparable.
Is there another player that you would compare Curry to? Or is he in a league of his own?
Now onto some more links: