Why Stephen Curry is bad for basketball

Stephen Curry is bad for basketball?  I must be on the wrong website.

Clearly SportsChump has lost his mind.  Didn’t he spend his hard-earned money going to see Curry play in Orlando last season?  Weren’t these latest NBA Finals, which featured Curry, among the highest-rated in recent years?  Didn’t the guy just win two MVP awards?  Isn’t he the top selling jersey and one of the most marketable athletes in the league?  How in the world could Stephen Curry be bad for the game of basketball?!?

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 10: Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors stands next to his back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Awards during a press conference at ORACLE Arena on May 10, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 638972705 ORIG FILE ID: 530278240

-Getty Images

I obviously meant the title of this post to be tongue-in-cheek… sort of.  Hear me out on this one.

I try to hit the YMCA two to three times a week as my schedule allows.  Smack dab in the center of my YMCA, one of the nicer ones in the Tampa Bay area, sit two basketball courts, one right next to the other.  Depending on what time of the day I go, I’ll see kids of all ages shooting hoops and playing pick-up basketball.

Most of them are awkward young things, shooting the ball from their chest, barely able to dribble with their off hand and wearing their socks way too high as if to make some geeky sort of fashion statement.  Let’s just say the majority of them are in dire need of coaching… now so more than ever since Curry came around.

I’ll sit on the machines doing my thing watching these kids launch shots from basically anywhere on the court.  Like Curry.  And sure, while taking shots from half-court is always a fun and casual activity, let’s just say that since Curry made it fashionable, kids are shooting from far outside their comfort zone far more often than they should.

I’m not sure I recall a shooter like Curry hitting such a high percentage from twenty-two plus feet out.  One analyst once compared him to Chris Jackson aka Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, which I found somewhat accurate except Abdul-Rauf never had anywhere near the sustained success or consistency of Steph Curry.

Abdul Rauf

Without a doubt, Curry is a freak of nature.  He shot over 45% from three-point range this season.  Considering how many shots he took from behind the arc (886), that’s beyond remarkable.  It’s no wonder kids wanna be like Steph.

What kids at the YMCA and the local playgrounds DON’T see is how much work Curry puts into his game.  His success is no accident.  What they DO see, mainly because ESPN makes a point of showing it, is him launching basketballs from the locker room hallway before each game.  While Curry may be disciplined and putting up shots from Timbuktu is mildly amusing entertainment, the last time I checked those shots don’t count.  But Curry makes it cool so kids wanna do it.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry shoots from an aisle while warming up before Game 1 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals between the Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oakland, Calif., Monday, May 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) ORG XMIT: OAS101

Curry’s not entirely to blame.  After all, he’s an entertainer as much as he’s an athlete.  ESPN’s not entirely to blame either.  What are they going to do, NOT show Curry’s circus-like, Globetrotter-esque talent?  Of course they are.  The kids aren’t entirely to blame.  They just want to emulate the biggest star out there.  But if we have kids doing nothing but taking shots from half-court as part of their training regimen, let’s just say the quality of basketball will suffer as the next generation of kids becomes NBA-eligible.

If I were a coach, which I used to be, and I saw my kids taking one too many half-court shots, I would make them convert 100 layups and tack on a wind sprint or two before they ever stepped on that half-court line again.

Steph Curry is an anomaly.  He’s a joy to watch, probably more so than he is to cover.  And in all seriousness, he probably brings a lot more kids out to the playground that would not ordinarily play.  He’s not a six-foot-eight behemoth like LeBron James.  Curry looks like the rest of us normal people.  Rest assured, however, Steph Curry is far from normal.  The sooner kids focus on how much work he puts into his game and not only where he’s shooting from, the better off they’ll be.  That should be what kids emulate: his work ethic, not his shot chart.

I watched a Jerry West video on YouTube the other day.  It was as remarkable as any Steph Curry game I witnessed this season, for Jerry West is also a freak of nature.

West, now 75 years young, is technically Curry’s boss.  Even though he’s the current GM of the Golden State Warriors, he’s probably more famous for assembling the Los Angeles Lakers championship teams of the 80s, being one of the Top 50 players in NBA history and of course for being “the logo.”

In this video you’re about to see, West teaches kids the proper arm technique and how to shoot a basketball.  In doing so, he doesn’t… miss… a shot.

This is a plea to the youth basketball coaches out there.  Let your kids have fun.  But for goodness sake, tell them the half-court shot has its time and place.  Mixing in some Jerry West pointers with some Steph Curry three-pointers is probably the best way to ensure your kids are taking the highest percentage shot.

7 thoughts on “Why Stephen Curry is bad for basketball

  1. While I wholeheartedly agree that taking any sort of advice from one Mr. Jerry West is never a bad thing….

    Better that kids are shooting from out of their range than carrying the ball on wannabe Iverson / Jordan crossovers.

    Better that kids are shooting from out of their range than lowering the rim to 7 foot just so they can dunk.

    Better that kids are shooting from out of their range than getting way too many ugly tats and dying their hair pink, yellow and purple trying to be Bad As They Wanna Be.

    Better that kids are shooting from out of their range than sitting on their asses playing Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft or Pokemon GO.

    Better that kids are shooting from out of their range than not playing at all.

  2. That West clip is insane, huh, Bleed?

    Made me pick up his latest biography again, which I hope to finish. The guy is a different cat altogether.

    Clearly, I’m kidding when I say that Curry is bad for the game.

    What IS bad for the game is kids taking his efforts or his game at face value.

    I’d love to see as many kids practice his pregame, baseline dribbling technique and learning how to handle the ball as I see putting up shots up from anywhere.

    Makes me wanna take up coaching again.

  3. If Curry is bad for the game then clearly there’s something wrong with the NBA. My bad , it’s merely a touch of sarcasm from the inimitable Sportschump.

    My issue remains with the NBA how many truly bad teams there are who cannot even play a lick of defense. Never mind the fact there will never be team rivalries , much less player rivalries. The NBA has now become a league encapsulated by money , bloated egos and organizations simply bereft of organizational acumen in a vast number of cases.

  4. Lefty chokes over the final two rounds of The Open and analysts are trying to suggest the sudden-death playoff was filled with drama ? LOL,LOL !!! Female p#rn Porn stars have shown more acumen taking it down the throat than Phil Mickelson .

  5. Didn’t read the article yet bro. I will do. But that’s ludicrous. BLACKASS!!!

  6. Al…

    Our new commissioner is looking at how Durant ended up in Golden State (Paul not with the Lakers) and wondering whether that’s a good or bad thing when it comes to competitive balance. Competitive balance, as I’ve discussed with Bleed earlier, will perhaps happen when Jerry West is no longer calling the shots for a particular franchise.

    Personally, I don’t think Golden State will win it all this year. Too much perimeter and not enough rebounding.

    As far as bad teams go, I think we’ll probably see fourteen to sixteen teams that could legitimately make a run.

    Let’s say this. If I give you Cleveland, Golden State and you choose one other team, would you take them or the field?

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