LeBron James Calls Steph Curry One of NBA’s ‘Most Influential’ Players

Steph Curry and LeBron James

Getty Steph Curry and LeBron James

Plenty of players have influenced the game of basketball throughout the history of the NBA. From Magic Johnson‘s passing to Michael Jordan‘s greatness, from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s skyhook to Wilt Chamberlain‘s combination of size and skill.

However, no one has influenced the game more than Allen Iverson and Steph Curry, according to LeBron James

Speaking on the first episode of his new podcast, “Mind The Game” with JJ Redick, James said “He [Steph Curry] singlehandedly changed the ‘no lead is safe.'”

Redick responded by saying “I think there is a long history of great players that have impacted the game. You can see a lineage between different skillsets, Michael [Jordan] to Kobe [Bryant], you can see that. I don’t know that there’s been a player that has influenced the game more than Steph.”

James then echoed Redick’s thought, saying “Since I’ve been watching the game, the most influence on the game…and obviously we know what Mike [Jordan] did for the game…Steph and Allen Iverson are the two biggest influential guys in our game since I’ve been watching and covering it.”

“The influence with Steph I think, is like he fundamentally changed how we viewed how the game should be played with the 3-point shot”, Redick added.

Steph Curry’s Influence

So, how exactly did Curry influence the game of basketball? Well, to put it bluntly, he completely changed how the game is played.

Curry is the greatest shooter in the history of the sport. He owns the all-time record for made 3-pointers with 3,687 (although that number is only going to continue to increase), is a master at shooting off the dribble, and was one of the main drivers behind the league’s “small ball” movement.

NBA 3-point Shooting

@AOP_NBANBA 3-point Shooting

Curry’s (along with his backcourt partner Klay Thompson‘s) ability to knock down shots from 30+ feet revolutionized the way teams thought about spacing and how they defended. As a result, there was an explosion in the amount of 3-point attempts taken per game by teams.

In the 2009-10 season, teams averaged just over 18 3-point attempts per game. This season, teams are averaging over 35 per game. In the 2009-10 season, the Orlando Magic led the league in 3-point attempts per game with 27.3. This season, that would rank last in the entire league.

It’s Not Just James & Redick

James and Redick are not the first, nor will they be the last, to call Curry one of the game’s most influential plays.

Bradley Beal, on an episode of Redick’s podcast “The Old Man and The Three,” acknowledged what Curry’s shooting has done to the game:

“But you can just see like in the league just how we value the 3-point line now, right? It’s not just something that we just look at,” Beal said. “As a spacer, you know, we value it at all five positions. You need everybody to be able to shoot the three because that’s a threat. Spaces the floor and creates some more drives for your guards. You know, he [Steph Curry] and Klay and their whole team…just changed the game.”

After the Warriors defeated the Toronto Raptors 120-105 on March 1, Raptor’s head coach Darko Rajakovic said “I think Michael Jordan, he definitely changed basketball. But Steph Curry is the player that’s on the top of that list. You just did not have a guard of that size with, that shooting ability, with that shooting range that completely changed the game.”

The quotes, like Curry’s threes, feel endless. For someone who is 6-foot-2, his influence is impossible to measure.

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