Former players can discredit the Golden State Warriors, they can discredit Steph Curry’s back-to-back MVPs, and they can discredit his unanimous MVP.
But there’s no denying what Curry has done for the NBA.
“The NBA is in a great place,” former NBA player and executive Rod Higgins said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think globally the game has grown. We have players that take the brand and they lead it and they guide it, so to speak. You talked a little bit about the era when I was in it (with) Magic and Larry and Michael, and before those guys Dr. J and all those names have kind of helped the league go forward. It’s no different now. You still have those superstar talented players like Steph and LeBron and KD and Russell Westbrook and all of those guys who know how to do it on the court and off the court as well. Off the court, they handle themselves in a professional manner. They know that they are looked upon to be a spokesperson for the league.
“In terms of Steph, man, what an outstanding story he’s become,” Higgins continued. “Fantastic player. I think he has a brand that kind of identifies with the average person. How tall are you guys? Maybe you can look at Steph and say, ‘Man, I can do some of the stuff that Steph does.’ As hard as he works on his ball-handling and his shooting, the average kid can do that. The average person can do that. The average person can’t be LeBron James or Kevin Durant. (LeBron is) 6-8, 250. Kevin Durant is 6-11. Heck of a player. But you kind of get my drift. Steph appeals to the average athlete.”
That is the case today. That would have been the case 30 years ago.
“I think Steph could have played in any era,” Higgins said. “His ability to shoot the ball is going to withstand time. The way he creates off the bounce, if you look at some of the players that have come up in the history of the game, who could do it like that? Who’s going to take it off the bounce and shoot from 30 foot at a high percentage? You can shoot it, but if you’re not shooting it at a high percentage, you’re going to hurt your team. And he creates such an advantage for his team when he’s double-teamed, triple-teamed, and now he can kick it to Draymond – and Draymond has a 2-on-1 on the backside where he has three-point shooters in both corners, he can get to the rack, he can throw a lob to Bogut. But that’s all predicated on Steph getting to those areas where he’s almost frightful for the defense because you don’t know what he’s going to do. (He’s) an exceptional player. It’s a great time, to be honest, for him and the game of basketball.”