Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is the best basketball player in the world. Typically, being placed in the same sentence as the reigning MVP would be greeted as a compliment.
But Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard doesn’t see it that way, like, at all (via Oregon Live):
“I respect Steph Curry,” Lillard said Thursday. “Because what he's doing is amazing. But I'm my own man. So don't come to me and say I'm impersonating him. You telling me I'm impersonating somebody by doing well at my job is disrespectful.”
Curry can accurately fire in three-point daggers whenever, wherever, however he wants. This trait sets him apart from every player ever, Lillard included. But on most nights, Portland’s franchise player is a one-man offense in his own right. He can pull up off a high screen and devastate a defense all the same.
While Lillard’s fundamental point is understandable and, in some ways, commendable—the guy wants to be treated as an individual, as he should—it’s also a little silly. Curry may go down as the most lethal weapon in league history. He’s that amazing, and almost all his statistics (per game, advanced, shooting splits, etc.) are superior to Lillard’s this season.
That said, context matters, and a slight explanation for Lillard’s relatively low efficiency is the fact that his responsibilities go deeper on a Trail Blazers team that wasn’t even expected to win 30 games this season.
Still, in 12 head-to-head contests against Curry, the 25-year-old has only won three times, and is averaging 6.3 fewer points per game. Lillard is an extremely potent offensive threat, but he needs to relax just a tiny bit when people compare his strengths to one of the best players in league history.