Hold the confetti.
Steph Curry simply isn’t the greatest shooter ever.
It has nothing to do with the fact that he didn’t break the three-point record on Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Instead of being crowned in front of a national TV audience, Curry turned in a stinker for all to see.
Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ star guard, shot a woeful 3- for-14 from behind the arc in a loss to the 76ers. Overall, it was not-suitable-for-framing 6-for-20 shooting night — one of the 10 worst shooting performances in his career.
Curry’s coronation will take more than just empty threes on a stat sheet.
In fact, Curry could make a million more three-pointers in his NBA career. Even still, it would be hard for some to consider Curry the greatest shooter ever.
Curry needs seven more makes from distance to pass Ray Allen and become the NBA’s three-point king. Easily, that will happen in the next game or two.
The fact that still remains is that through the barrage of threes, Curry doesn’t have a signature basket, a clutch three in a big spot. Go ahead and think about it. All the greats have that moment when you thought to yourself that someone was, indeed, great.
No wonder honest NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins tweeted this after Curry’s piss-poor performance: “Steph got Game 7 Syndrome!! When everyone is anticipating a big moment he never meets it.”
In Curry’s career, he is 0-for-9 in the playoffs on shots to take the lead in the last 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime, according to Basketball Reference.
Those are facts, not feelings.
It seems nearly impossible that Curry can make circus-like shots and threes from the logo, yet never nail that much-needed bucket in a clutch moment.
Some might say it is nitpicking. It sure is. And we should nitpick when you want to crown someone the greatest of anything. That resume has to be tight, double-checked to make sure a person is truly worthy.
It’s just not the case.
Last season, for example, Curry was nowhere to be found when his team needed him most trying to get into the playoffs during the play-in tournament. The Warriors lost both games, including a home loss to the upstart Memphis Grizzlies in overtime to officially be eliminated.
This season, in a rematch in San Francisco, Curry went 0-for-6 through the fourth quarter and OT. He missed two big three-point attempts late in the game at Memphis that gave the Warriors their first loss this season.
In the last Finals appearance for the Warriors against the Toronto Raptors in 2019, Curry had a shot to win the game for G.S. and force a Game 7, but missed an open look with less than 10 seconds to go.
Videos of his huge misses are all over the internet. You can’t miss them, unless you’re Curry.
And as great as Curry is, most would rather have Allen or Reggie Miller take the shot in a high-pressure situation. Curry will beat Allen’s mark in roughly 500 fewer games. That seems remarkable. It really isn’t. Allen, playing in a way different era in the NBA, averaged less than six threes a game. Curry, who helped usher in the let-it-fly era in the Association, shoots about double the amount than Allen.
When people talk about that they have never seen a shooter like Curry, it’s a reach, hyperbole. Curry hit the coveted 50-40-90. That’s shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and 90 percent from the free-throw line in a single season. Curry has done it once in his career.
It’s not as rare as people will have you believe. Kyrie Irving did it last season. Kevin Durant did it once. Larry Bird did it twice. And Steve Nash, the back-to-back NBA MVP, did it four times in his career.
Easily, Curry is an all-time great, just not the greatest shooter of all time. To have that title, you have to be clutch, too. That’s simply one thing Steph hasn’t nailed yet.