”You were defending team light-skin the other day; I noticed that. That's OK, as he dropped a 62 piece on somebody, so it's all good.” That's how David Aldrige started the Hoops Adjacent episode after Steph dropped 62 points on the Blazers. The light-skinned part is often mentioned when discussing the fact Steph Curry is one of the most resented superstars ever when it comes to getting recognition from his peers.
Steph grew up in a stable home, with an NBA player as a father, didn't go through the ordeals and challenges most NBA players did, and has Klay Thompson and Draymond Green as teammates. Andre Igoudala accepted a 6th man role, Shaun Livingston and Andrew Bogut accepted role-playing duties. Yes, Curry had an awesome group around him during his basketball peak. I almost forgot, Kevin Durant also joined for a while. All these are used after "He's good, BUT..." when Steph's peers start arguing why, in their opinion, Curry is overrated.
It's no secret LeBron feels he was a better player than Steph every year the Cavs and Warriors met in the Finals. Curry probably couldn't drag a team like the Cavs to the Finals so many years in a row. But the reverse is true as well - Klay and Draymond wouldn't be who they are if they were expected to develop next to LeBron. (He'd probably have them traded for James Jones.) The thing is, Steph doesn't dominate the game as we are used to - it doesn't fit the machismo that comes with sports. He's 6'3", 185 lbs, and plays like it.
But let's not get it twisted and assume just because his peers underestimate Steph, that means they don't respect him. Greatness will always recognize greatness, and LeBron showed that last night after pulling off a Curry.
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“Well, Steph has probably done it the most in the league. When you shot the ball as beautiful and effortlessly, and precisely as Steph does, he has the ultimate ultra-green light to do that. Because 10 times out of 9, it's going in for Steph.”
When you meet someone in the Finals and lose to them so often, it's no surprise there's no love lost. If anything, we need more rivalries and competitiveness in today's NBA. But only a selected few understand what it takes to be as great as LeBron and Steph are. There'll always be respect there.