You may be surprised to learn that not everyone loves Steph Curry the way you and I do. Fortunately, that group seems limited to jaded adults — because children are in love with the Golden State point guard. And that includes Dwyane Wade’s kids, who are apparently big fans of Curry, according to their pops:
Dwyane Wade told reporters about Stephen Curry: “We've got kids. Our kids are fans of watching Steph do his thing, and it's great.”
Back to those Curry unbelievers for a second, though. It’s shocking, right? How could anyone not be completely enamored with the best player in the world? (Sorry, LeBron. Win a Finals against Steph, and maybe you can have your title back.) Do these people just hate fun?
Now, to be fair, it seems that about 99 percent of the basketball-watching world loves Curry and his Warriors. However, the old yarn for the one percent goes that Curry is ruining basketball because he can make a lot of really difficult shots at a really high rate.
Where the thread starts to unravel is the "ruination" sentiment. That’s borderline hating, to be frank, even if the negativity comes from an ostensibly helpful place. It’s couched in a concern for the future — The kids, they cry (and here, "they" includes Curry’s former coach)! Think of the kids! — and that’s great. We should all be thinking about the future as much as possible.
But it kind of ignores the reality of the situation: Curry’s awesome for the future of basketball.
You know what the most important thing for the longevity of the game is? Making sure there are as many fans as possible. The beauty of Curry’s game and the rise of the Golden State Warriors is how organic everything is. Rather than have the Lakers or the Knicks or another marquee team force-fed through nationally televised games, kids are pulling up Vines and Twitter videos and Instagram clips and Snapchat stories and who even knows what else, because young people are mysterious and way too cool for us. And they latched onto the Dubs.
There, they saw an MVP who looked like them — but not in the way that you think. Any right-minded person understands that Wardell Stephen Curry II had access to resources and coaching that most people can’t dream of, because he’s the son of a former NBA player. He was used to locker rooms before he was used to the alphabet. Without his work ethic and his self-determination and all that great stuff, he wouldn’t be who he’s become, of course. None of his advantages take away from his individual achievements. Yet the notion that Curry is a role model because "hey, a kid can grow up to be six-feet tall and skinny," is completely overstated. That’s not what makes Curry special.
Instead, Curry stands out in the literal sense of the phrase. Before the ball is in play, he’s the one you’d point to and say doesn’t belong. It’s that illusion of outsider status that’s inspiring, and it doesn’t hurt that Curry’s story to this point reinforces his underdog role. He went to a small school. He wasn’t drafted No. 1. He got hurt early.
Then he erupted in a flurry of 3-pointers and ridiculous celebrations. That’s what most people see when they rail against Curry’s impact on the children. And if that’s all there was, there’d certainly be reason for concern.
How does Curry get those shots off, though? Why is he often so wide open?
Okay, yes, some of it is Draymond Green (and bad defensive coverages, ugh). But it’s more than that. You remember fundamentals, don’t you? It’s that buzzword that most nostalgic people use when they pine for the good old days of basketball.
Curry is the reigning king of fundamentals in basketball. Watch him destroy an opponent off the dribble, always putting the ball exactly where he wants it and where it should be. Because that’s the kind of thing that kids are emulating as well — and that Curry is encouraging.
And that shooting? Understand that to become the greatest shooter in NBA history requires the most fundamental basketball skill of all: Repetition of fluid mechanics in every conceivable situation. Being better from half-court than you are from the free-throw line doesn’t just happen. It’s the manifestation of everything you could ever want a basketball player to do.
If a kid is taking too many 3-pointers and he can’t make them, then that’s on a coach to bench him. Short of organized basketball, what’s wrong with a kid having fun by chucking up 3s? It’s still a game.
The only problem, apparently, is that Curry understands 3 is greater than 2. He’s teaching kids math, love for the game and the right way to play.