Editor’s note: A previous version of this article interpreted Iguodala’s comment to mean the second-best point guard ever. He actually meant the second-best player ever. Yahoo Sports regrets the error.
Thanks to the Golden State Warriors’ sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals despite missing Kevin Durant, appreciation of Stephen Curry’s value is beginning to peak again.
Facing a tenacious Blazers team while missing Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and, for a significant stretch, Andre Iguodala, Curry averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 42.6 percent from deep.
The entire series was a reminder that before Durant signed with Golden State, Curry was the most dangerous weapon of a franchise that terrified the NBA. It was also a chance to start thinking about Curry’s place in NBA history again, and Iguodala has some thoughts.
Stephen Curry: The second-best ever?
While Curry already has the title of best shooter ever locked down (he already ranks third all-time in 3-pointers made, is on pace to shatter the Ray Allen’s record and has a far better 3-point percentage than any other player in the top 10), a discussion of where Curry ranks in other parts of history is getting pretty interesting.
Speaking with The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, Iguodala placed Curry as the second-best player ... ever. The veteran remembered a 2015 series against the Memphis Grizzlies when he fully believed in Curry’s claim:
“I think he’s the second best ever,” Iguodala said. “I always thought that about him. I knew but other people didn’t know. So I wasn’t surprised when he took over that series. But I always gave Tony Allen credit. Playing against him made you understand the grind of how hard it is to win. It’s supposed to be hard. You’re supposed to have to find another way. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable. He just embraced that. Just ingrained that into his system and it’s been there ever since.”
That’s obviously a pretty big claim. A handful of players have arguable claims to the title of basketball’s GOATs: Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, just to name a few. Naturally, those guys also occupy the argument for second-best player ever as well.
For now, putting Curry in that tier might be hard to justify. However, Curry’s Warriors will likely go down as one of the great teams in NBA history and even more sustained success after the presumptive departure of Kevin Durant would be the beginning of a good argument.
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