The Golden State Warriors were already heavily featured on ESPN’s rankings of the top 100 players in the NBA. However, after they rolled out the top of their list, the final Warrior, star guard Steph Curry, became the fifth Dubs player to make the list. Curry was ranked fifth on ESPN’s ranking, slotting right behind 76ers star Joel Embiid and ahead of Lakers forward LeBron James. He was given the same spot in the rankings last season.
Embiid, Luka Dončić, Nikola Jokic, and Giannis Antetokounmpo round out the top five of the list, and are the only players ahead of Steph.
Arguing about rankings, particularly ones from large outlets designed to spark debate, is always a dangerous game to play. With that said, Curry maintaining his place in the rankings is far from unreasonable. Steph obviously carried the Dubs through the playoffs to their first championship since Kevin Durant left the team a few years ago. However, it was also arguably his worst regular-season performance in nearly a decade (omitting 2019-20 when he appeared in just five games).
Curry was still a star, but he shot just 43.7% from the field and 38.0% from three, the lowest single-season marks of his career. His dip in efficiency also led him to average just 25.5 points per game, his lowest mark since 2016-17. Of course, Curry found another gear in the postseason.
Across Golden State’s four playoff series, Curry shot 45.9% from the field and 39.7% from three while racking up 27.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game. With the Warriors' season on the line, Steph was able to lift them past several valiant foes on their path to the fourth championship of his career.
Set to turn 35 in March, Curry will hope to evade father time for at least a few more years. Will he be able to bounce back in the regular season this year? Or will he need to preserve himself for Golden State’s playoff runs now that he’s in his mid-30s? Regardless of the answer, Dub Nation cannot wait to see him back on the court in the coming weeks.