Steph Curry is not the next Kobe Bryant, who never was the next Michael Jordan in the first place.
No, the Golden State Warriors sensation is something neither Generational Star ever was at the height of their above-the-rim heightness – loveable, approachable, and unbeatable as a one-man show.
Curry wrist-flicks 3-point shots from downtown Detroit, which is something else when the game is being played in Toronto. His smile is perpetual without supplemental Botox. He brings his adorable baby girl to news conferences.
He is why playground kids will want to grow up and be NBA stars again.
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Did you see him drop 44 in Toronto on Saturday night, never looking like he’s trying hard but never looking like he doesn’t care? He is off to a 22-0 start to the season in a sport where no one had ever been 16-0, and is such a nice guy, he’s letting the rest of the team share the record.
If you were turned off to basketball after Jordan’s second retirement, this is a good time to check back in at the scorer’s table.
If you haven’t been paying attention, this is a good time to start. If you were turned off to basketball after Jordan’s second retirement, this is a good time to check back in at the scorer’s table.
Curry is that great. And, then some.
Jordan needed Scottie Pippen to win his first NBA title. Kobe needed Shaq to get his trophy case kickstarted. LeBron James had to join an all-star team in South Beach to get traction.
Who did Curry win a title with last season? David Lee? A dude named Festus?
Jordan had a tongue-wagging arrogance when he dunked from the free-throw line, and forever held grudges just as much as grudges held him, but we loved how we puked his way through championship games.
Kobe was moody with teammates when he wasn’t being accused of sexual assault, but we admired his competitive drive for perfection.
For the rest of us, Curry is a different story: not because he is a better player than all the rest, but because he’s infinitely more likable when he’s being just as great as anyone else on the hardwood flooring.
He shoots the ball from all points as if he’s playing a game of H-O-R-S-E at the park. You can relate to his style because you swear you made that shot once in the fourth grade.
The guy goes to church. He’s raising two kids with a wife. He answers questions without blaming teammates for failing or reporters for asking. The reigning MVP even gets caught shopping at the public mall.
Curry plays in Oakland, a city with such stepchild complex, its home games feature blimp shots of the city across the bay.
Sure, he’s a louse sometimes when it comes to half-court shots, but we think he misses those heaves on purpose – just to remind us that he’s mortal after all.
Or is he mortal? If he keeps up this pace – and nine 3-pointers against the Raptors counts as keeping up, all right – he will make more 3-pointers in the past two seasons than Larry Bird did his entire NBA career, so says ESPN.
Larry. Stinking. Bird.
Find another NBA player to drop 40-plus points with eight-plus 3-point shots, as Curry just did. We’ll wait.
James was supposed to be the defining player of this generation, but he was too polarizing. He was doomed from The Decision, and the marginal observer just can’t get over that, no matter how all-time a great he is in Cleveland.
Curry on Saturday became the first in NBA history with back-to-back games with at least 40 points and eight three-pointers.
No, Curry is the perfect player for a sport in need of a transcendent star. Most amazing of all, he is doing what Tim Duncan never could master in San Antonio: he has found coast-to-coast stardom without needing the lights of Los Angeles, or the power pull of Chicago.
Curry plays in Oakland, a city with such stepchild complex, its home games feature blimp shots of the city across the bay. Admit it: half of you thought Golden State folded with the ABA until Curry came along.
For the love of fashion, Curry even looks good in those hideous black shirt-sleeve jerseys.
It’s no wonder Kobe announced his retirement the other day. The Star of His Generation has been officially replaced.
1. We hear Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter is seriously thinking about bringing in Dennis Erickson to run his offense, on the recommendation of former Bulldogs quarterbacks Kevin Sweeney and Trent Dilfer. That’s great, as long as DeRuyter understands he’s hiring his successor when it’s his turn to get chopped.
2. Why comment on 49ers owner Jed York’s own chopping block when former Chronicle comrade Ray Ratto said it so much better? And we quote: “The franchise has tumbled from its three-year orbit and is burning on re-entry ….” Quite the Boy King, indeed, that Jed.
3. Thank you, Arizona Diamondbacks, for making sure that if the Giants didn’t sign pitcher Zack Greinke, the Dodgers didn’t, either.