Steph Curry is getting some love from a pair of Los Angeles Lakers legends this week.
Just a few days after Derek Fisher put Curry among the upper echelon of NBA players, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal had some even bigger praise for the Golden State Warriors star. Speaking this week on the “Big Podcast with Shaq,” O’Neal explained why he believes Curry is the best player in the world right now and the Warriors are a favorite to repeat.
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Shaq Praises Curry
During the August 18 podcast, O’Neal and the show’s guests discussed the favorites for the 2022-23 title, and the former Lakers legend put the Warriors at the top of the list. For O’Neal, having Curry in the lead makes Golden State the favorites once again.
“Nobody’s going to beat the best player in the world, Steph Curry,” O’Neal said.
When co-host Nischelle Turner pushed O’Neal on whether Curry is really the best, he doubled down.
“Yeah, by far,” O’Neal replied. “Hell yeah. As Kenny [Smith] would tell you, you can have a category, but the real ones are recognized by the championships that you have. Nobody plays better than Steph Curry. He’s a tough shot-taker, tough shot-maker. I like where he’s brought his career.”
O’Neal went on to share some love for Curry’s work ethic.
“To be able to work that hard and be the best shooter and one of the best players in the league, he gets my props for that. I love that kid,” O’Neal said.
Curry’s own coach has shared some similar praise in the past few months. After Curry dropped 43 points to lead the Warriors to a win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, head coach Steve Kerr took note of Curry’s legendary conditioning.
“That’s the thing that makes his special is his strength of character matches his skill, his level of conditioning, it’s all tied together,” Kerr said after the game. “He just cares so much, he works so hard, he’s so easy to coach.”
Kerr went on to say that he owes his own career coaching success to Curry, who has been the team’s best player since he joined as coach in 2014.
Curry Earned Love From Shaq’s Former Teammate
This is now the second time in a matter of days that a player from Golden State’s Pacific Division rival has shared some praise for Curry. Fisher, who won five titles with the Lakers, spoke about Curry while appearing at the 9th Annual Cedric The Entertainer Celebrity Golf Classic.
Fisher told SI.com’s Inside the Warriors that Curry is in rare company in the NBA, a small group of players who could will their teams to the top. That group included O’Neal, he said.
“Steph Curry has separated himself as one of the few guys in the history of our game, that when you look back, wherever he was or whenever he played, his teams were really successful,” Fisher told Farbod Esnaashari. “I put him in that category with Tim Duncan, Kobe, and Shaq. Wherever he is, success is going to follow.”