Stephen Curry finally overcoming the obstacle of winning a championship and Finals MVP together has lifted an enormous burden off his shoulders. The respect for Curry and his legacy has risen drastically, as the old-school greats are finally starting to give Steph his flowers and rank him amongst the greats. Even Charles Barkley complimented Curry by naming him the greatest small guard in NBA history.
Steph vs. Zeke
On his way to becoming the greatest small guard ever, Curry bumped out the legendary Isiah Thomas from the throne, in Charles's opinion, and it's hard to argue that notion. When you look at the pure numbers, it's pretty tight.
4x NBA Champion
1x Finals MVP
2x MVP2x Scoring Champion
2x NBA Champion
1x Finals MVP
1x Assist Champion
The numbers have started to lean towards Curry's direction, and at 34 years old, with the shooting touch, it's hard to imagine a drop-off coming in the following years.
That's why Charles and many others have put Steph on a pedestal amongst the great point guards of history:
"This is going to be painful for me to say, but I think he passes Isiah Thomas as the greatest small guard ever. That's just my personal opinion. I mean, 4 championships. Because, Isiah Thomas, to me, is the greatest little one guard ever. So I think for me, this pushes him past Isiah Thomas as the greatest small point guard ever."
Charles Barkley, Get Up
Even though Curry is regarded as the best shooter of all time and quite possibly the most transcendent player the league has ever seen, due to his impact on the evolution of the game, not too many people are willing to name him the #1 point guard of all-time.
That seat is still reserved for the great Magic Johnson, and for now, Curry will have to settle with the title of the greatest small guard ever. Maybe a couple more rings, Finals MVPs, or records could push Steph even past Magic, but that will be a tough challenge to accomplish.
One thing is for sure. Curry has finally earned the respect he deserved to get much earlier. Everything from now on will only be icing on the cake for the career of the greatest shooter in NBA history.