Michael Jordan has set the gold standard for NBA players to follow. When someone says that you're the Michael Jordan of your era, it simply means that you are bar none the best basketball player of your generation. Almost all agree that Kobe Bryant was the Michael Jordan of the 2000s. In the 2010s, there is still an ongoing debate. But for NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry should get that tag.
The greatest of his era
Garnett was talking about the renaissance of Andrew Wiggins — a first overall pick who was once compared to the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. While Wiggins did relatively well, he did not meet the high expectations imposed upon him. Now, all those talks are gone in the wind. But it doesn't mean Wiggins is a bust. Garnett credits the Warriors for giving Wiggins another shot. In discussing his case, KG declared Curry the best of his generation.
"He's playing with the Michael Jordan of his era. The knowledge that he takes not just from Steve Kerr and that coaching staff but that pedigree of excellence that they push around there in Golden State -- you can't come in there and be less than. Those are champions in there. Those guys have won together. They've been in the grit. They've been in the foxhole together. I think it motivates him," Garnett said, ESPN.
Titles and influence
Curry's resume (which is still expanding as we speak) could prove Garnett's point. There's no argument that he's the greatest shooter of all time. In 2016, he became the first unanimous choice for the Most Valuable Player in league history. Steph has three rings in his trophy case, and from the looks of it, he and the Warriors are gunning for more.
Perhaps Curry's strongest case to be declared the GOAT of his era is the fact he single-handedly changed how the game is being played today. Pre-Curry, the 3-point shot was seen as an inefficient and bad shot. After Curry and the Warriors won a load of titles with him at the forefront, teams started integrating the shot into their playbook — but not one of them came close to the Dubs' success.
Over the past few years, LeBron James has been the lone player going toe-to-toe with Michael Jordan as the real GOAT. This season, Curry has been getting a lot of traction. Maybe Garnett's comments could further boost Curry in these debates. Maybe fans should finally include him in the GOAT conversation.