Photo Credit: img-hd.com
Stephen Curry has had a pretty big year, that is a pretty big understatement to say the least. He averaged 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2 steals per game en route to winning his first MVP and leading the Golden State Warriors to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1975. He had already put himself on the map prior to this year in a lot of people’s minds but this year he took it to another level.
His efforts on the court have begun to get him noticed off of the court.
However it’s his effortless jumper, reminiscent of his father Dell’s for its radar like accuracy, that has had people buzzing. In a sports world where dunks dominate the day Steph has shot his way right to top of SportsCenter.
Fair or not, highlight shows have been blamed for more emphasis being placed on dunking and putting people on posters than making trusty shots from the perimeter.
Mike Piazza had a very nice Major League Baseball career and here he is decades later talking about the impact that this dunk had on him as a kid. Michael Cooper, a great defender and the victim on this Dr. J dunk is still gushing about it.
So many of us grew up with this dunk. It was as if Michael Jordan just reached into Patrick Ewing’s chest and ripped out his and the New York Knicks heart with this dunk.
Lastly, Vince Carter on Alonzo Mourning, (this is one of many Vinsanity dunks on Zo). This is exactly my point, there are so many dunks that we could have listed here. So many that we omitted. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter what era you’re talking about dunks have always been highly anticipated and draw all the oohs and ahhs.
The dunkee catches all sorts of flack and greif for being put on the poster and being on the wrong side of a great play. At the same time, marvel at the skill, athleticism and body control of the dunker for being able to execute the dunk. The nastier the dunk the better.
Always been that way, always will be.
This is what makes Stephen Curry’s game so impressive. He wows us with his shooting prowess just like great dunkers wow us with their work at the rim.
Now don’t get it twisted, Curry can dunk too.
He has no problem flushing it down even during a game but his jumper is what butters his bread so to speak. There have been plenty of other great shooters but Curry makes shots with a flair and a controlled, confident swagger that keeps you glued to your seat in anticipation of what he’s going to do next.
So how is he flipping the script to fundamentals? At the beginning of the article we touched on the big year he’s having. He won his first Three Point Contest, MVP Award and will play in his first NBA Finals.
He is 27 years of age. He’s just getting started.
His impact is already widespread and here are three random reasons to prove it. I live outside of Knoxville, TN and my wife, two sons and I recently went to Dollywood, over in Pigeon Forge. While there I see a boy, probably about nine, wearing a Golden State Warriors No. 30 Stephen Curry jersey shirt.
My young nephew Kameron, age 10, lives in Chattanooga, TN. He was in for a visit a couple of weeks ago. The Warriors were about to play game six in the Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies. He pops into the living room and says “Oh, the Warriors are playing, that’s my favorite team!”
This strikes me as odd so I ask him: “Golden State?” “I thought you were a LeBron fan.” He says “I was, but I’m a Warriors fan now because of Stephen Curry!” Well alright then.
Final example, I’ve been in Myrtle Beach, SC all week and similar to the first example I saw eight and nine-year-olds running around in Curry jerseys once again. The common thread of all of this. None of them live remotely close to Oakland, CA where the Warriors play. None of them were even old enough to remember Steph’s NCAA tournament run at Davidson in 2008.
They all are in bed when most of the Warriors games start but they still know who he is and what he is capable of doing. They are all still figuring out who they will be as fans and they may change again down the line but Steph has definitely made an impression on all the young hoops fans out there.
If you go to any playground in any location in any era you will hear people yelling out the names of their favorite players as they attempt to emulate their patented moves on the court. “Doc!”, “MJ!”, “Nique!”, “Magic!” and “Bird!” have all had their runs.
“Kobe!”,” LeBron!” and “CP3!” are on display now at any park in the country. Make room and keep your ears open for “Steph!”, “Curry!” or “Stephen Curry!” on a playground near you. You’re definitely going to hear it and down the road there will be a wave of young shooters to follow as well.