The Golden State Warriors have been riding high throughout the 2022 NBA offseason. That’s typically what happens when you win your fourth championship in the past eight seasons, which is precisely what the Warriors have done. And at the center of their dynastic run of greatness has been their star point guard, Steph Curry.
O’Neal believes Curry is the best basketball player in the world right now
Curry doesn’t have much left to prove in his storied NBA career. He’s already won four titles and picked up his first ever Finals MVP award for guiding Golden State past the Boston Celtics in his most recent victory. He’s widely regarded as the greatest shooter in the history of the NBA, and he has changed the way basketball is played with his scoring exploits.
Curry is clearly one of the best players in the NBA right now, and you can make an argument that he is the best of the best. That’s an argument that Shaquille O’Neal is willing to make, as he recently said he believes that Curry is the best player in the world right now. O’Neal believes that the best players can win on the biggest stages, and that’s what Curry has done all throughout his career.
“I do (like the West), but nobody is going to beat the best player in the world, Steph Curry. You can have a category, but real ones are recognized by the championships they have. Nobody plays better than Steph Curry. He’s a tough shot taker, tough shot maker, and I like where he’s brought his career.” - Shaquille O’Neal, The Big Podcast
Is Curry the best player in the world right now?
It’s hard to argue with O’Neal’s reasoning for labeling Curry as the best player in the world. Curry is a winner in a league that often overlooks the most critical part of playing the game; winning. Curry is a fantastic player, but he differentiates himself from other stars because of his ability to consistently find ways to come out on top.
Now there are obviously other factors, such as Curry’s skilled teammates, or his top-tier head coach Steve Kerr, that help, but Curry is always at the center of the Warriors’ success. But to label him the best player in the world may be a bit of a stretch. He might be the best winner in the basketball world currently, but to label him the best player, not so much.
In terms of individual exploits, Curry falls behind the big man trio of Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, each of whom dominates the game in every aspect possible. Curry is a phenomenal scorer and a better playmaker than Embiid and Antetokounmpo, but he’s not on the same level defensively as them. That’s fine because Curry’s scoring capabilities stretch out opposing defenses in a way that none of those guys can.
It’s a debate that has raged on for as long as the game has been around, but it’s probably a bit of a stretch to declare Curry the best player in the world. That would discredit some of the other superstar players who have worked hard to develop themselves in every area of the game. Curry is probably the best shooter or winner, but O’Neal’s take here may be jumping the gun a bit.