As Stephen Curry has taken over the NBA, many former basketball stars have voiced their displeasure with the way the league is changing.
To this point, Hall of Fame big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been lumped into that group for agreeing with Oscar Robertson’s comments that modern coaches aren’t defending Curry properly. But that characterization of Abdul-Jabbar’s opinion on Curry might have been unfair.
Abdul-Jabbar was recently at St. Louis University for a speaking engagement, and during a session of questions from the audience, he was reportedly asked which active NBA player is his favorite. And with apologies to Tim Duncan and Kevin Durant, both of whom Abdul-Jabbar mentioned, the answer is Curry.
These three-point shots, which were almost nonexistent during Abdul-Jabbars career, are now Curry’s go-to weapon. Abdul-Jabbar said: “Now he’s making those kind of shots, and starting to change the game of basketball.” Today’s three-point revolution is making today’s NBA vastly different from the league that Abdul-Jabbar played in, and Kareem has a deep respect for Curry. “I salute him, he’s a pretty awesome player,” Abdul-Jabbar concluded.
In 1988-89, Abdul-Jabbar’s last season in the league, NBA teams averaged just over two made 3-pointers per game, for a total of 173 over 82 games. Curry makes five per game by himself. He’s knocked down 339 triples in 67 games so far this 2015-16 season.
It’s great to see a big man, who might be going the way of the dinosaur in today’s game, embrace the drastic change in the NBA. Today’s style is incredibly fun, but too many people get caught up in their nostalgic pining for the league as it used to be.
Abdul-Jabbar might have ideas on how to better defend Curry, but he’s still a huge fan.