Steph Curry impacted the game more than any other player of his generation. He's on the verge of breaking the all-time 3-points made record and doing it at fewer games played. But even more than the numbers he's putting up, Steph's historical importance to the game is in the way he redefined what a good shot looks like.
Steph Curry changed how coaches think
Curry is the first player in the history of the NBA that is a threat anywhere on the court. You just can't relax when defending him. The coaches he's had, Mark Jackson and Steve Kerr, were both part of the old-school era. For them, the shots Curry was taking were borderline insane.
In an interview with Damon & Ratto hosted by Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto for 95.7 FM The Game, the Warriors coach shared he has to relent to giving Curry the freedom to do what he wants.
“He was taking shots that -- in my basketball blood -- every coach I ever had would have a heart attack watching those shots. I had to get over what was instilled in my brain about what was a good shot and what was a bad shot. With Steph, you have to understand, part of what makes him so powerful is that he’s going to steal the ball at midcourt and pull up from 40 feet."
Steve Kerr, Damon & Ratto
Kerr went on to explain he had to allow those 40 footers to happen even if Steph didn't make a lot of them. The sheer threat of that shot had defenses scrambling. Curry's gravity on the court has such a profound impact the Warriors coach had no choice but to give Steph the green light from, basically, anywhere on the court.
When you have a player that does these type of plays and still makes it, you can't help but be proud and feel a sigh of relief that Curry does it against other teams and not on you.
Looking at Steph's shot chart reveals that he's not only making regular 3s; he's also making deep 3s. That depth created a whole new set of challenges for opposing defenses and made coaches change how they think about basketball.
Steve Kerr should be recognized for Steph’s brilliance
Curry would not be the Curry we know without Kerr's guidance. Mark Jackson set the foundation, but Kerr unlocked Curry's potential and had the courage to do something most coaches don't dare to do - let go and trust his guy pulling up from distances that would give every coach "a heart attack watching those shots."
It's easy for someone who has the skills of the 2-time MVP to slack off and rely on shooting the lights out every game. However, every summer, SC30 can be seen adding something to his game, which speaks of his drive to beat opponents and prove that at 33 years old, he still has some left in his tank.
The Warriors standing in the Western Conference is proof Curry is, against all odds, still improving. The league is on notice; the Warriors are back.