Friday, February 16, 2024

Quote of the Day (Scott Cacciola, on Steph Curry, 3-Point Ninja Warrior)

“[Golden State Warriors guard Steph] Curry does not merely shoot 3-pointers. No, he makes them with three defenders draped all over him like a cheap tablecloth. He beats buzzers and crushes hope. He drains 3s on the run and from the general vicinity of the food court. He smiles and dances and points and preens, turning each field-goal attempt into a telenovela.”— Sports and entertainment reporter Scott Cacciola, “When Curry Gets Going, Great Things Come in 3s,” The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2021

For a long time, I’ve felt that Steph Curry has had a Babe Ruth-like effect on how his game is played, taking a long-range weapon available for years but using it in a uniquely powerful way.

Curry breezed past Ray Allen’s prior career record for three-point shots made back in 2021, and since then his total has reached 3,642. The closest current active players who trail him are James Harden (2,890) and Damian Lillard (2,535), and, at 34 and 33 years old, respectively, they are not much younger than the 35-year-old Curry and likely won’t have enough time to surpass his him.

Then, on Wednesday night, Curry managed to top even himself, becoming the first player in NBA history to convert seven or more 3-pointers in four consecutive games.

Just before the Warriors game against the Los Angeles Clippers, their All-Star guard left the crowd gasping in even more disbelief than usual when, with one hand, he hit a shot over 100 feet. From the opposite tunnel.

The Warriors have needed every one of Curry’s long-range buckets: Even with their win last night over the Utah Jazz, they are tenth in the Western Conference at 27-26, a far cry from their pace (including four NBA championships) under Steve Kerr this past decade.

With Klay Thompson playing inconsistently enough to be benched for the first time in a decade, with Draymond Green often unable to control himself at critical junctures, and with Chris Paul sidelined with a hand injury until after the All-Star break, Curry has had perhaps more obstacles to overcome this year than ever before.

The fact that the team remains competitive night to night is all the more tribute to this true ninja Warrior.

(For a comical take on how Curry makes non-Warriors fans feel, I recommend this post from Boston Celtics diehard “Greenie” on the blog “Barstool Sports,” with a headline that says it all: “Steph Curry Will Not Stop Ruining My Life.”)

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