Stephen Curry became the NBA’s all-time three-point king on Wednesday night, Dec. 14, in Madison Square Garden, passing Ray Allen.
Before it’s all said and done, Steph, who broke Allen’s record of 2,973 three-pointers, could have 5,000 made threes in his career. He is the greatest shooter ever, and it’s not close.
the MOMENT Steph made history pic.twitter.com/ZT9KxBSHmI
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2021
He is already one of the all-time great players, and debates will ensue over whether he’s top 10 or top 5. While those discussions are fun and really difficult, depending on what your actual criteria are, what is undeniable is Steph’s impact on the game.
Curry has revolutionized the game in terms of shooting and how we think about playing the game of basketball.
On the night that Steph Curry sets the record for made threes, Steve Kerr puts his point guard's impact on the game of basketball in context. 💯 pic.twitter.com/udOokIkvMv
— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2021
In that regard he’s one of a few men that have had the most impact on the game.
What more needs to be said? Nobody has shot the volume of threes at the efficiency that he has in the history of the game. Of the 10 seasons with the highest three-pointers made by a player, Curry owns five of them.
He surpassed Allen’s career mark in 511 fewer games. That’s a little more than six NBA seasons! He’s a career 43 percent shooter from deep.
Curry has also bent the geometry of the floor. He must be guarded the instant he approaches half court. This allows the Warriors to set very high ball screens, and because of the defenses’ inclination to overreact to Curry, it often creates a downhill 4-3 mismatch his teammates exploit.
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 15, 2021
What if I told you one player’s dominance necessitated rule changes to take away the advantages he had over the entire league?
The widening of the lane, instituting offensive goaltending, and revising the rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws.
All of that was because of Wilt.
Most games with 50+ points, 118; Most consecutive games with 40+ points, 14; Most consecutive games with 30+ points: 65; Most consecutive games with 20+ points: 126; Highest rookie scoring average: 37.6 ppg; Highest field goal percentage in a season: .727.
The records and accolades go on and on.
Julius “Dr. J” Erving
All the high flying above-the-rim play you know and love from Michael Jordan to Kobe Bryant, etc. started with Dr. J. Playing above the rim was an art form for Erving. He took everything to the rim and did it with flair and athleticism the game hadn’t seen up until that point.
He elevated the entertainment aspect of the game like nobody before him did and it was the precursor to modern day in game acrobatics.
Erving’s first five years were played in the rival ABA league. His style of play and athleticism was so popular it became the catalyst in the ABA/NBA merger.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
A 6-foot-9 point guard, you say?
Nowadays seeing someone 6 feet 6 and taller run the point or initiate a team’s offense is so commonplace the average fan thinks nothing of it. But this wasn’t always the case in basketball.
Coaches used to never let a guy over 6-3 to 6-4 play point guard; it was considered a waste. Players with size needed to take advantage and get down low to gobble up rebounds and score in the most effective area on the floor.
Magic changed all that.
At his height he could see over the top of point guards and back them down in the post when needed. He showed what a “big” could do in the open court with his deft handle, otherworldly passing, and court vision.
His signature no-look pass is the stuff of legend. Magic would often be driving down the floor and tell the defender he was about to throw the no-look and do it anyway.
He led one of the greatest dynasties the league has ever seen, the Showtime Lakers. Magic did it all with a burning passion and desire to win and a joy that couldn’t be rivaled.
Yes, Steph Curry is on the short list with these all-time greats that have changed the way basketball is played and enjoyed. Respect.
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