Steph Curry has entered the top echelon of NBA greatness, a former rival says.
After losing nearly all of the 2020-21 season due to injury, Curry has strung together a pair of MVP-caliber seasons while leading the Golden State Warriors from the basement of the Western Conference back to the top of the NBA. In doing so, Curry has cemented his legacy as one of the top players in league history, and is now earning praise from a former Los Angeles Lakers legend for his ability to lift his teams to greatness.
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Curry in Great Company
Former Lakers star Derek Fisher spoke about Curry this week at the 9th Annual Cedric The Entertainer Celebrity Golf Classic, telling SI.com’s Inside the Warriors that he belongs in the same company as Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
“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.”
Fisher had the chance to play alongside two of the legends he mentioned, winning titles with O’Neal and Bryant in 2000, 2001 and 2002 and winning another two with Bryant in 2009 and 2010.
Fisher, who played 13 total seasons for the Lakers across two separate stretches, played against Curry during the final six seasons of his career.
Fisher noted that Curry isn’t doing it alone, pointing out that Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have played big roles in Golden State’s success. He also credited the team’s ownership for their commitment to sustaining success and head coach Steve Kerr for his perfect leadership style for the packed roster.
Kerr Shares Fisher’s Sentiment
The Warriors coach shared some similar praise for Curry back in June, calling him the linchpin of Golden State’s long stretch of sustained success. After Curry scored 43 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Warriors to a 107-97 win in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Kerr praised Curry’s work ethic and mental toughness.
“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,” Steve Kerr said after the game. “He just cares so much, he works so hard, he’s so easy to coach.”
Curry earned his first career NBA Finals MVP that series, a unanimous selection. He averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game in the series, delivering in some of the biggest moments. He scored 34 points with seven assists and seven rebounds in the series-deciding Game 6 and scored 30 or more points in three straight games at Boston’s TD Garden.
After the Game 4 win on June 11, Kerr said that much of his success as a coach is due to Curry.
“Whenever I’m done coaching, I’ll just look back and say thank you to Steph, night after night because he’s made this situation for us, as an organization, easy for everybody,” he said. “He’s just a special player, a special person.”