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The NBA’s evolution into a perimeter game from a battle in the paint took shape over the last seven or eight years with teams like the Golden State Warriors leading the charge.
Stephen Curry has developed into one of the top shooters of all time but has caught flak. Critics suggest he’s ruining the game, turning it into a sport too reliant on outside shooting.
Curry, 34, was asked about that notion Wednesday after he hosted the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
“Anytime you change or disrupt the way a game is played or the way something’s been done for years, for decades, there’s always going to be people that love it and people that hate it,” Curry told LA Mag.
“It’s just stretching people’s imagination of what’s possible out there on the court and for young kids to know it’s possible. But you have to work for it. It takes time, so many reps, a lot of focus and dedication and discipline. But it’s possible.”
Curry won his fourth NBA title last month when the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in six games. He improved to 4-2 in NBA Finals appearances.
His performance this past season, considering all the injuries that have hampered Golden State over the last few seasons, may have changed Curry’s standing among the NBA greats.
Bobby Marks, a former assistant general manager for the Brooklyn Nets who works as an analyst for ESPN, said earlier this month that Curry catapulted himself into the discussion of the best NBA player of all time.
“I’m going to stun you with this take here. I actually think Steph Curry is the second-best player of all time, right behind Michael Jordan,” Marks said. “I would put Curry ahead of LeBron James right now.”
Curry may still have a ways to go to catch either of those guys.
He’s an eight-time All-Star who has spent his entire career with the Warriors. For his career, Curry averages 24.3 points and 6.3 assists, and he has shot 42% from 3-point range.