Steve Nash hails Stephen Curry as the ‘evolution of basketball’
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry might look like only one of the elite players in today’s NBA, but even without another title, he’s already reached a shortlist of storied stars. Steve Nash knows Curry’s place in history and he’s not hesitant to put it out there.
“I hate to break it to you, but he’s already an all-time great,” two-time MVP Steve Nash told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “He’s the ultimate one-off. He’s the evolution of basketball. It evolved before our eyes.”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, LeBron James — those are the names of the only men who have mustered three NBA championships and two MVP awards — only difference is, Curry has already achieved that at 30 years old.
Yet the Warriors guard’s greatness comes with an asterisk, one surrounded by the hoopla of superteams and his value among an All-Star studded team. One that Abdul-Jabbar, Russell, Johnson and Bird would have had if they lived in the social media era.
“There’s layers to his place in the Zeitgeist,” said Nash. “People don’t associate him to greatness because he doesn’t dominate the game physically. He dances. He pays a tax for that. He pays a tax for his great teammates.”
Curry’s long-range prowess changed the way the game is played, from one favoring an easier shot in the mid-range, to one defying the laws of conventional basketball — one that proved successful year after year for Curry, who’s connected at 40 percent or more in each of his nine NBA seasons.
Much like others before him, he’s managed to change the game, making 10 3-point attempts per game acceptable for a star player or one with excellent acumen from distance.
“[Wilt] Chamberlain, Kareem and the great big men like Russell changed the game from the inside. He’s changed the game from the outside,” said Jack McCallum, a longtime Sports Illustrated writer and author of the book Golden Days.
“He’s a walking piece of history. But there’s still a certain resistance to him.”
Nash changed the era of scoring point guards like Allen Iverson and Baron Davis and reverted it to the days of passing flair and ball-sharing, as one great would know another when it comes to changing the game.