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3 Players Who Were Steph Curry BEFORE Steph Curry

Steph Curry, Pete Maravich, Jerry West, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Few players have been as influential in NBA history as the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry. For almost a decade now, he’s singlehandedly changed how the game is played fundamentally. He’s responsible for how spaced-out offenses are and, as such, is responsible for how defenses have been reformulated. Curry is also not just the greatest shooter of all time, but he’s also proven that sharpshooters can lead teams to winning basketball. The likes of Damian Lillard and Trae Young would not be playing the way they are without #30.

However, what about those that inspired the man? For this piece, we’re going to be looking at the 3 players whose games most closely resemble that of Curry. No, we’re not just talking about simply all-time great three-point shooters: we’re talking high-volume combo-guards who had the confidence (and the ability) to throw it up from anywhere on the court, just like the man himself. These three paved the groundwork for the Baby-Faced Assassin to dominate in today’s league.

So, without further ado, here are the three players who were Steph Curry EVEN BEFORE Steph Curry.

Pete Maravich

Career Statistics: 24.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists

Accolades: Hall of Fame, 5x All-Star, 2x All-NBA Firwst Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 1x Scoring Champion

We start with one of the most legendary players in the history of college basketball.

Pete Maravich was an absolute wizard with the ball and has been the inspiration for many of the high-skill moves that are prominent in the NBA today. Maravich introduced the outlet pass, the different forms of the behind-the-back pass, and a host of other showtime moves. He was an early innovator, much like Steph Curry.

With his undeniable moxie, Pistol Pete was also prone to taking these long jumpshots, which were particularly unusual in his day. In particular, he liked taking long jumpshots from transition instead of driving. This confidence and proficiency from deep is what links him to present-day Curry.

Maravich had a brilliant basketball career from college to the pros. While at Louisiana State, he averaged an obscene 44.2 points in three seasons, which is about as unbreakable a college basketball record could get. He had a great, if rather short, NBA career as well, averaging more than 24 points in 10 seasons. He is a Utah Jazz legend, but had great stints with the Atlanta Hawks and the Boston Celtics as well.

As if it couldn’t be more absurd, Maravich did this all without the three-point line. For his career, he only shot a grand total of 10 three-pointers, all of which were taken in the last season of his career when the three-pointer was introduced. Steph Curry would be impressed.

A brilliant innovator, comfortably ahead of his time. Rest in peace to Pistol Pete, who tragically passed away at just 40 years of age.

Jerry West

Career Statistics: 27.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists

Accolades: Hall of Fame, 1x NBA Champion, 14x All-Star, 10x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 4x All-Defensive First Team1x Scoring Champion, 1x Assists Champion,

The Logo is next as the player closest to Steph Curry when considering both playing style and accolades.

Like Pistol Pete, Jerry West had the tendency, confidence, and the skill to take and make long-range bombs. of course, he didn’t do it nearly as much as Steph, but no one really did at the time. Also like Maravich, West played in an era before the three-point line. This didn’t stop him from shooting from deep, though.

West also had a fantastic shooting form, particularly considering the era he played in.

With his Los Angeles Lakers, West was able to reach the NBA Finals nine times. However, the 14x All-Star was only able to win one ring. Nevertheless, he is hailed as one of the most clutch players in league history, earning the nickname “Mr. Clutch” with his iconic 60-foot game-winning buzzer-beater against the New York Knicks being his defining moment.

Truly one of the most iconic players in league history, it was destiny that the sharpshooting West had a huge hand in building Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors’ dynasty as the team’s consultant.

The logo is now currently in a similar executive role with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

Career Statistics: 14.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists

Accolades: 1x Most Improved Player

See, Pistol Pete and The Logo were quite similar to Steph in that they were successful long-range volume shooters in comparison to their era. However, their play was quite different from Curry; Maravich was less efficient with his shots, while West was way better defensively.

However, the one player whose style of play is most similar to Curry is one player who wasn’t quite as successful as the two above, nor as well-known historically. The man formerly known as Chris Jackson, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is the undisputed Steph Curry before Steph Curry arrived.

Yes, the 6’1” guard’s accolades don’t even remotely match up against the aforementioned players’. However, his game is so strikingly similar to the Baby-Faced Assassin that he could almost answer the question”What would happen if Steph Curry played in the ’90s?”

Aside from their eras, averages, and accolades, the only real difference between Steph and Mahmoud is that the latter shoots a two-motion shot while Curry shoots in one smooth stroke. Otherwise, the perimeter game, tendencies, and confidence to shoot from beyond the arc are practically the same. Abdul-Rauf is also one of the greatest free throw shooters in the history of the league. His highlights are so Steph-like that all Curry fans owe it to themselves to watch some of it.

Abdul-Rauf’s 10-year career was unfortunately filled with controversy, particularly one involving the United States’ national anthem and flag. Nevertheless, his name is immortalized in basketball history as the precursor and the player most similar to the greatest shooter to ever pick up a basketball.