Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is one of the most accomplished active players in the NBA. Still, he’s garnering criticism for his evolutionary playing style.
Former NBA journeyman Mike James outwardly questioned if a player with Curry’s skill set can be as much of a game-changer as most consider him to be.
“Steph, how he plays and how he gets stuff off, it’s just kinda one-dimensional at times,” James told the “Players Choice” podcast, as transcribed by SF Gate’s Zach Zafran on Wednesday. “He’s not the primary ball-handler a lot, and for a point guard that kinda bothers me.”
For that reason, James left Curry off his list of the top five active players in the NBA. In Curry’s place are Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic.
Curry is a two-time MVP and an eight-time All-NBA guard, but Mike James seems to think his game could not translate on any roster. He thinks Curry would still “kill,” but not to the same degree. From his perspective, the other five could light it up in any scenario. James sees Curry as someone who largely benefits from the Warriors’ system and those around him.
It’s hard to imagine Curry not being able to hit half-court shots on a consistent basis due to his jersey, but his leeway to create off-ball movement as a point guard is unique. The argument could be made that Curry would not be the same playmaker he is today if he was forced to direct the offense with the ball in his hand.
Either way, critiquing the game of one of the best and most accomplished players in the league is a strange activity that many pundits spend too much time on.