Stephen Curry: Upsetting the natural order of things

“Just say sorry, Big O.  Just say sorry.”

-Mark Jackson’s post-game comments to Oscar Robertson immediately after Steph Curry hit game-winning three-pointer in Oklahoma City

If I’ve written about you in three straight posts, you’ve either done something right or something horribly wrong.

Please allow my man-crush on the Golden Child to continue as I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one watching in awe.  We are all Steph Curry’s unlimited range.

I recently wrote about the night I drove on a whim to see the greatest basketball player on the planet pour 51 on the Orlando Magic.  His very next outing, he dropped 46 on Oklahoma City including a game-winning dagger from just past half-court.

This is how hot Steph Curry is right now.  Aside from the fact that he’s drawing MVP chants IN OPPOSING ARENAS, he just broke the record for three-point shots in a season… and there are still 24 games to go!  He could conceivably hit another 100 three-pointers in that time frame.

But do you know how I know Steph’s really special?  He’s starting to piss off the old school.

Milwaukee Bucks

Apparently some league veterans aren’t too happy about Curry rewriting the record books.  Some people think he’s getting away with too much, that defenses are soft and that modern coaching is lazy.

As I mentioned in a previous piece, Gary Payton confessed he couldn’t play in today’s NBA.  It isn’t physical enough for his liking.  Even Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, the man most famous for being the only player to average a triple-double in a season and who’s never really been all that outspoken about anything, said the game isn’t as physical as it once was and that defenses are too soft.

Robertson also cracked on today’s coaching style saying “I just don’t think coaches today in basketball understand the game of basketball. They don’t know anything about defenses.”  Gregg Popovich wasn’t available for comment.

Pop

Robertson’s comments prompted a slew of articles, including this one, coming to Curry’s defense and calling out the old man for being inappropriate.  I guess Curry is as untouchable as he is un-guardable.

Big O was the man back in the day but covered or not, I don’t think even he could drop 47% from behind the arc.  Robertson’s comments may have been taken out of context (they weren’t) but his unwillingness to recognize the season Steph Curry’s having made him sound like a resentful, old codger.

At least Michael Jordan, whose Bulls’ regular season record Curry and Company stand to break said he’d like for it fall.  Clearly Jordan is more comfortable in his own skin than some of the league’s more elder statesmen.

Without a DeLorean, there’s no way to determine whether yesteryear’s game was more physical than today’s.  Sure guys used to hit the floor (and each other) more regularly but today’s athletes are in far better shape.  Before we wax poetic about the days of old, I’m here to tell you there is plenty of talent in this league.  Yes, the game is less physical or at least it’s less dirty.  That’s because we’re not savages.  The current and former commissioners have done their best to keep the game as bloodless as possible without jeopardizing its integrity.  While we may ooh and ahh at the occasional clothesline, we also don’t want to see anyone’s career ended because of dirty play.  Ask Kermit Washington and Rudy Tomjanovich how that turned out for them.

Rudy T and Kermit

I’m pretty sure if you watch closely to today’s NBA, you’ll still find a healthy amount of banging in the paint.  We’re there to watch these people play basketball, not kill each other.  Trust me when I tell you the league is better without Ron Artest in it.

Still think Curry has spent his season untouched?  He just had Russell Westbrook step on his ankle.  It turned in ways ankles aren’t supposed to turn.  He went to the locker room, had it taped up and was back on the floor to hit the game winner.  Curry may look limber but he’s taken his licks.  No one has thrown him a forearm shiver because no one wants to be eternalized as the bad guy.  That fact that this isn’t your father’s NBA might just be a good thing.

Steph

Curry is on a season-long heat check.  Those of us of not criticizing him keep waiting for him to miss a jump shot.  Most of us hope they keep going in.

I’m old school too but I’m enjoying this ride.  Saying Curry’s hot because he’s not being covered sounds petty.  I get that most of us weren’t around to see Oscar Robertson light up the league but that doesn’t mean that Steph’s magical season shouldn’t be respected.

For the season he’s having, Curry deserves an Oscar, not a reprimanding from him.

16 thoughts on “Stephen Curry: Upsetting the natural order of things

  1. It’s Steph’s world at the moment and the rest of his peers are being made to look less than mortal. If the adjudicators fail to name him League MVP this season , then I will personally give up watching the NBA for good !

    If the Big O is admonishing Curry, it may well be done out of jealousy and not much else.

  2. Just saw that half courter for the first time and only have two words in response…Holy S___!
    W all due respect to the Big O – Curry would be running circles around most of those 1960s and 70s guards…except maybe West, Frazier, Pearl and Riordan (yes – my Knick bias shines thru). The Big O needs to keep his mouth closed – for another 40 years!

    …and by the way – we are “savages”…mealtimes at 3006 !

  3. Short but sweet from me regarding your post – right on, brother! How’s that for going back to the Big O’s era for a compliment to SC? While we’re on the subject of old-school basketball (which I respect), ain’t we all happy that their not still wearing those shorty-shorts (in the words of LTCG) playing BB today? I know I am – not that I’m checking out guy’s legs out there!

  4. Absolutely enjoy the ride. Once in a lifetime season after a championship season. Balls going in from mid-court. No time to compare eras. Wasting time not enjoying this one. It is so hard to compare eras anyway and I try to avoid it unless there’s a specific rule change that might have altered the way the sport was played. Would love to see OKC meet them in West Finals.

  5. Curry is really something. The game has changed so as to feature a guy with his unique skills. He has kind of pushed LeBron to the side, hasn’t he? Give Oscar his due, though. Guys like him, Russell, West, Cousy and Reed made the NBA what it is. Great!!!

  6. My boss is one of the guys you recently wrote about who dropped the NBA a few years back because it’s, “A thug league now”. He’s a hardcore LA Kings fan who regularly belittles basketball to try to poke at me…And even he is talking about Curry the last few months.

    When you’re hot, you’re hot.

    Curry is fire right now.

    Hopefully his emergence as possibly the greatest shooter of all time will bring alienated former fans back, as well as create new ones. Basketball is more than the players, but it’s the players that draw people in. Curry is good for basketball whether The Glove and The Big O like it or not.

  7. Curry is nursing that bum ankle he turned when landing on Westbrook, Al.

    Regardless, the Warriors still eked out an overtime win against Atlanta. They are now 54-5 but we saw last night despite their talent, how valuable Curry is to this team.

    Regardless, there will still be some dufus sports writer trying to make a name for himself that will for some reason not vote Steph Curry unanimous.

    Keep in mind, there’s never been a unanimous MVP. Not quite sure how that wouldn’t be the case this year but I guess we’ll see.

  8. Moose…

    I’m not sure who we have to thank for that exactly.

    Was it Jordan? Was it the Michigan Wolverines?

    I’m not sure who brought the more lengthy basketball short to the forefront but you’re right… I’m all for it. He deserves a hearty thanks.

    That last thing we need to see is some dude’s jock strap, or even worse, junk, wrapped up in some tighty whiteys.

  9. Yea, Burnsy, the Big O fell into a trap on that one.

    He should have just said “Yes, Curry is having one helluva season.”

    The guy is a legend but these comments just made him sound bitter.

  10. No doubt about that, Jimmy.

    It’s one thing for an old school athlete to say he could still play today. Heck, even Jordan spouts out something like that every other year. And most believe he probably could, he he.

    But to say that today’s top athletes COULDN’T play back in the day. That’s something different altogether.

  11. Bleed…

    I’m impressed, man.

    A full comment without even mentioning the possibility of Steph Curry becoming a Laker.

    Speaking of, our post should be up soon.

  12. Chris


    The year when Karl Malone won League MVP do you actually believe he was deserving of the award ? Bear in mind for the better part of three quarters of the season , Jordan and the Bulls had been on a tear with Jordan lighting up the scoreboard like it was a 4th July celebration.

    I personally believe the adjudicators of the award ( League MVP) should be among the coaches and players themselves. Then again we know there is likely to some bias there also , but I think there would be more credence to the balloting , if it were done along those lines, rather than the current system !

  13. Jordan should probably have won MVP award every year he was in the league, Al.

    In addition to Malone’s, you can also question Barkley’s and David Robinson’s.

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