Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry changed the game of basketball. That fact has been etched in stone, incredibly, while Curry is still in his prime.
But I have to think that Curry wasn’t the first shooter in NBA history to think, with the utmost confidence: “You know what? I’ll shoot my shot from anywhere. And I can make it.”
It was Curry, however, that had the audacity to do so — and the skills to sink an array of long-distance shots that make the world’s greatest hoopers shake their heads in disbelief. He built his career from his unreal confidence and willingness to pull the trigger, distance be damned.
And during Curry’s scintillating, electric, historic, simply unbelievable MVP performance during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game, the same audacity that made Curry’s career appeared with a thunderous boom that shook the sports planet.
Coming into the contest owning a very un-Curry-like shooting percentage this season, he chose the NBA All-Star Game — with some of the greatest basketball players in history on hand for the league’s 75th anniversary — to shoot with reckless abandon, hitting shots the NBA greats who sat courtside can only dream of.
Yes, Curry had the audacity to intentionally shoot out of his season-long slumber on perhaps the grandest stage in NBA All-Star Game history — with the first-ever Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star Game MVP Award up for grabs, to boot. And he pulled it off as only the great players can, making an insane 16 3-pointers on his way to 50 points and MVP honors.
Here are Curry’s highlights from his breathtaing performance that will go down in history as the greatest display of shooting the world has ever seen — which is only fitting for the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-point shots made.
Curry put extra sauce on a few of those, too, actually turning to the crowd and asking if one of his shots went in as it splashed through the hoop when he posed the question.
Before he could see ball hit net, Warriors guard Stephen Curry turned toward fans sitting courtside to ask a question: “Did it go in?”
Pure showmanship.Connor Letourneau/San Francisco Chronicle
Pure showmanship — and pure audacity.
Curry’s performance was so magnificent that the conversation regarding his place in NBA history — I predict — will start to change in earnest. It has to. Curry is not simply the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. He’s one of the best players to lace ’em up — period.
You’d likely get no argument from assembled NBA greats such as Micheal Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and others that witnessed Curry’s outrageous display on Sunday. Because in a building with the best the game has ever known on hand, Curry had the audacity to prove –right then and right there — that he’s as great as they are, and in many cases, far better.
That’s the audacity that made Curry’s career. It’s what changed the game for good. It’s what makes us all watch in wonder. And it’s what makes Curry one of the best basketball players to ever walk the earth.
And of course, it’s what makes Stephen Curry — AKA The Golden Child — a Bay Area legend.