How Steph Curry changed the landscape of the NBA
By Joshua White
Before the Golden state warriors rise to the top, the NBA was played one way. In the past players like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird who use to be the faces of the league, used to be known for their consistency at the top level and their main skill sets were midrange jumpers, amazing court vison and being extremely athletic. Back in those days it was seen as that you had to be a ‘big man’ to dominate the league such as various players like Shaq and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Steph Curry truly broke this theory by being one of smallest people on the court at most times and completely dominating. Steph is called the greatest shooter of all time, which is something I definitely agree with, he has broken practically every record there is to break and if he has not broken it yet, he is on the way to doing so, but here are some of the ways Steph got where he is now and changed the NBA.
Steph really started to influence the league in his 2014-2015 season where he won his first MVP. He was averaging 23.8 points per game which was not extra ordinary, but it was the way he was putting these points on the board. Steph was always known to have a great shot and it was some what expected because his dad (Dell Curry) used to be an exceptionally good 3-point shooter himself, but the range of Steph’s shot is something people had never seen before, he had the ability to shoot from literally anywhere once he crossed half court. This caused teams that were defending him to have to guard him as soon as he crossed half court which opens up the game like it never has been before. Normally in the NBA getting space is exceedingly difficult, everywhere on the court is normally compact but when you are on a team with Steph its completely different. Also, the fact he was accompanied by Klay Thompson (splash brother) who is another amazing 3-point shooter it made it even more unfair.
In the 2015-16 season Steph was the first player in NBA history to win a unanimous MVP, which is having every sportswriter vote for him. His team also had the best record ever in an NBA season going 73-9. By this point all the changes that he influenced had already began in the NBA. Players who were not known for shooting were suddenly attempting multiple threes a game such as Brook Lopez, players who could not shoot the ball at all were been slowly fazed out of the game because of the way the game was rapidly transitioning. Players like Blake Griffin who is known for his athletic ability, crazy dunks have gone from averaging 2 3point shots attempted a game in 2014, to attempting six a game in 2018.
Steph effectively destroyed the traditional centre position and changed the way people looked at the 3-point shot, it was seen as a bad shot or a last resort type of shot but he made it important and now its practically a necessity for teams to have this skillset to be able to challenge for the championship. Lastly to end this article the NBA has had multiple players over the last few decades who have influenced the fans to want to be like them, Michael Jordan had the phrase “everyone wants to be like Mike”, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant just to name a few. Steph Curry is also in this category he had fans showing up hours early just to watch him warm up because he did things nobody else could do, young kid and teenagers who play basketball for fun imitate him trying ridiculous shots and this to me truly shows his influence on the NBA and how he changed it.