There’s no doubting that Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has taken a step back this season, despite his team’s return to the title picture. For the year, the two-time NBA MVP is shooting 42.8% from the field and 37.5% from deep — the lowest marks of his career outside of the five games he played in 2019-20.
Meanwhile, his scoring average has dipped more than six points from 32.0 in ’20-21 to 25.8 this season.
Nevertheless, his place in the Association’s hierarchy — not just this season but, more specifically, from a historical standpoint — is more than secure. With his next-level shooting ability, otherworldly range and incredible scoring chops as a 6-foot-2 guard, Curry changed the way that basketball is played.
In spite of all that, though, SiriusXM’s “Mad Dog” Chris Russo isn’t a believer. Or, at the least, he questions Steph’s status as a Mount Rushmore-type player.
Russo Knocks Curry on ‘First Take’
During a Wednesday appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Russo got into a heated debate with Stephen A. Smith about Curry’s place among the NBA’s GOAT contingent. As he sees it, the Warriors star doesn’t belong in that conversation.
“He’s not a top-10 player!” Russo declared. “He’s a great Hall of Fame player, and he’s transformational with the way he plays, but let’s look at Curry in the big game. They won three championships; he wouldn’t have won two of them without Durant.”
Russo didn’t stop there.
“Listen, he’s fun to watch, he’s a wonderful shooter, unbelievable ball-handler. We all know he’s an all-time great. But immortality is what I’m talking about. And right now, in my eyes, as a sports fan, when you tell me 30 years from now, ‘Is Stephen Curry an immortal?’ — I look at championships, the big spots… I’m saying no.”
Smith was clearly taken aback by the take, responding, “I don’t even understand what the hell you just said… the greatest shooter God ever created is playing right now — everyone on the planet concedes he’s the greatest shooter God has ever created — and you’re telling me… is that not immortal status right there?”
The latest Golden State Warriors news straight to your inbox! Heavy on Warriors newsletter here!Join Heavy on Warriors!
Fans Are Destroying Russo
While there was support to be found on both sides of the debate, a lot of people are shredding Russo for his stance that Curry isn’t “immortal” and/or won’t be namechecked for his game-changing contributions in the future.
“It really seems like a lot of these older sports analysts just try to pick apart and shred current athletes’ successes and status as all-time greats while propping up the careers of all the past players in their personal top 20 lists. It’s really starting to come off as straight-up hate and jealousy,” wrote one YouTube commenter.
“Making the top 10 is tough cause of all the greats but Steph is one of the greatest ever and you can’t write basketball history [while] leaving him out of it, you can do that to some of the other greats with all due respect,” read another response.
“3-time champion, best shooter ever and a 2-time MVP (one of which being unanimous). That’s immortality. He isn’t the greatest ever. That’s Jordan. But he is certainly somewhere up there,” wrote a third commenter.