Phil Jackson tries, fails to clarify crazy Steph Curry comparison

Phil Jackson's explanation for comparing Stephen Curry to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf is still a head-scratcher.
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New York Knicks president Phil Jackson caused a stir on social media Sunday when he compared Golden State Warriors reigning MVP Stephen Curry to NBA journeyman Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf:

The tweet — which was in response Curry’s 46-point performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder — received a ton of backlash. Some even suggested there was no way Jackson wasn’t trolling the public with such a ludicrous comparison. 

It appears he wasn’t kidding around.

Jackson took to Twitter on Monday to clarify his comments, saying he was merely comparing the two players’ style of play, not their success or effectiveness:

Does that sound like a guy who’s trolling everyone? It can’t be ruled out, as Jackson has been known to make some outlandish claims on Twitter. But he seems to legitimately believe in what he’s saying.

Ironically, Curry’s own coach, Steve Kerr, compared Curry to Abdul-Rauf last season, yet received no backlash. That, in part, was because Kerr included Steve Nash and Mark Price in his comparison, too, and because Curry wasn’t playing at such a historic level yet. Kerr also made sure to differentiate what makes Curry special when compared with the other three (via the New York Post):

“The only guys I can think of that are close would be Mark Price, Steve Nash and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf,” Kerr said. “He had a lot of that, but didn’t have the same range that Steph has. Nash didn’t have the speed. But Mark Price, Steph’s very similar to price. Price had that package, but not to the extent Steph has it.”

Abdul-Rauf was never an All-Star, nor did he ever even shoot 40 percent on 3-pointers (which has to be the baseline to even warrant a comparison to Curry).

Players have come around who have played like Curry, but none has ever had the range, ball-handling skills, off-the-dribble shooting or efficiency he has demonstrated over the past few seasons. Curry has a green light almost no player in NBA history has ever had. He’s a once-in-a-generation talent, an aberration. Abdul-Rauf certainly was not.

It’s nice to see Jackson try to clarify his remarks, but his intentions remain unclear — and the comparison, even in style of play alone, is off-base. The Zen Master has been known to play head games though the media — and has already claimed he isn’t the biggest fan of 3-pointers and analytics — so it seems like there’s an unknown motive behind his commentary.

Jovan Buha covers the NBA for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @jovanbuha.