In the post game press conference following the Thunder’s 120 – 111, Game 5 loss to the Warriors last night, Russell Westbrook was asked if Steph Curry was an underrated defender. Westbrook audibly laughed at the question. Westbrook has largely dominated Curry for most of the series. He clearly isn’t intimidated by Curry.
Today in The Herd, Colin said Curry doesn’t get the same respect around the league as other superstars, because he isn’t physically dominant or imposing, and doesn’t affect the game in ways other than shooting. In the NBA, players respect physical dominance above all else.
“They look at Steph and see a small 6’2, 180-pound athlete who can just hit 38 footers.”
Steph Curry is maybe the best shooter in league history, but if he isn’t making threes, he can’t take over a game. Curry was named to the All NBA Defense team and led the league in steals, but he isn’t a dominant defender.
“If Michael Jordan’s shot wasn’t falling he was still the best defensive player on the floor.”
Colin compared Curry to the famous prop comic Carrot Top.
“Like in comedy, there’s Ricky Gervais and there’s Louis C.K. They’re smart, they’re fearless. It’s almost academic. They talk about social issues. You do realize Carrot Top has a net worth greater than both? $75 million. He’s a prop comic.
‘Here’s a ski mask and a toilet seat. Laugh everybody!’
Among comics, despite his wealth, despite his popularity, he’s a prop comic. And in comedy, you know who’s respected.”
Larry Holmes was boxing’s heavyweight champ for seven years. The third longest title reign ever. When people discuss the greatest heavyweight champs ever, Holmes isn’t mentioned. Holmes won with jabs, not knockouts. No boxers feared him.
Former Mets Pitcher R.A. Dickey won the Cy Young. He was a knuckleballer, not a flamethrower. Players in the league aren’t intimidated by him.
Former NBA player, and current Celtics analyst, Brian Scalibrine joined The Herd and agreed with Colin that Curry isn’t as respected around the league other superstars.
“The common NBA player around the league thinks Steph Curry’s a media darling.”
Scalibrine said players around the league harbor resentment towards Curry because he didn’t come up through the AAU ranks like most players. His father Dell played in the NBA, and Curry grew up shooting in NBA gyms.
Players don’t feel like he’s paid his dues. Scalbrine said that an accurate assessment of Curry is somewhere in between the media’s fawning obsession and the players’ criticism.