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Steph Curry will go down as the greatest shooter in NBA history – there can no longer be any debate.
The Golden State Warriors superstar broke the all-time record for made three-pointers of 2973 on Wednesday when he swished a 28-footer midway through the first quarter of their clash with the Knicks.
Talk about a flair for the dramatic – Curry broke Ray Allen’s record in front of the man himself, who was in attendance, along with the previous three-point king, Reggie Miller.
He could have broken the record in the Warriors’ previous game at Indiana but it was fitting he hit the milestone at the Mecca of basketball, Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.
The Garden erupted, a time out was called and Curry was congratulated by teammates and every member of the Golden State support staff, finishing up with coach Steve Kerr, a rather handy three-point marksman back in the day himself.
“It was pretty emotional, more emotional than I thought it would be,” Kerr said during a half-time interview.
“It was beautiful just to hear the fans’ reactions, his teammates, to see his Dad, to see Reggie and Ray over on the sidelines. It was just a fantastic moment.”
Curry ended up giving the ball he used to break the record to his dad, Dell, who was one of the NBA’s best outside shooters in the 1990s.
H I S T 3⃣ R Y
Stephen Curry is officially the greatest shooter this game has ever seen ???? pic.twitter.com/BmEhQFcJDH
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2021
The 33-year-old guard is averaging 27 points per game to be a strong chance to win his third MVP this season as the Warriors sit atop the NBA standings with the best record in the league of 22-6.
Michael Jordan is unlikely to ever be topped for the mantle of the Greatest of All Time (there can only be one GOAT, people), LeBron James is widely considered to be the best all-round player and nobody could score the ball, particularly in the paint, like Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
But when it comes to the act of shooting, Curry stands alone. Funnily enough, his teammate and fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson is his only rival when it comes to the sweet science of shooting efficiency from long range but serious injuries aside, he will never be able to match Curry’s record.
And with the way he plays and the attention to detail he puts into staying in elite physical shape, Curry could keep sinking threes for at least another five years. That would mean his finally tally of threes would be well north of 4000.
— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) December 15, 2021
Cynics could argue that if you were to create a three-point shooter in a lab, Curry has had every conceivable advantage since he was born to be who he is today.
His dad was a three-point gun over a lengthy career from 1986-2002 mostly remembered for his efforts with the Charlotte Hornets playoff squads in the ‘90s alongside Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning and Muggsy Bogues while his mum, Sonya, was successful in college athletics as a volleyballer.
Steph literally grew up hanging around NBA players, learning how to shoot on the practice courts after watching the pros train alongside his brother Seth, who has carved out his own career as an outside shooting specialist.
Game changed. Forever.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 15, 2021
Yes, he grew up in a privileged environment but that doesn’t account for his success – that is due to the hours upon hours of work he’s put into his craft.
Even after a stellar collegiate career with Davidson, he was still treated with suspicion by NBA execs due to his slender 1.88m frame and passed over six times before being taken at No.7 in the 2009 draft by the Warriors.
He has fought back from ankle injuries which hampered his first few seasons in the NBA to a point where the Warriors weren’t certain to re-sign him after his rookie contract ended and didn’t offer him top dollar at the time due to questions around his durability.
It’s history now but they got the steal of a lifetime when they signed Curry to a relatively paltry four-season $44 million deal in 2012 which indirectly enabled Golden State to sign Kevin Durant a few years later.
Just landed in Dallas to see @StephenCurry30 broke the record and to make it even doper he did it in the GARDEN!! WOW CONGRATS BROTHER!! INCREDIBLE ????????????????????????????
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 15, 2021
When Curry was winning his two MVPs a few years later he was not even close to the highest-paid player on his team.
His three-point shooting has revolutionised the sport – teams take more attempts beyond the arc than ever before and that trend is likely to continue.
Curry’s extra value to basketball will be seen in the next generation. For a sport that carries the stigma, for lack of a better term, that you can only be a star if you are genetically gifted to be in the two-metre height range, he’s flown the flag for the smaller players.
Congratulations to Steph Curry for making history and setting the new NBA All-Time 3-point record tonight!! Thank you @StephenCurry30 for revolutionizing the game of basketball forever! ???????? It was great to see his parents Dell and Sonya there supporting him!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 15, 2021
If you go to any basketball stadium these days, the smallest kids are jacking up long-range shots – not necessarily with a lot of success but you know who they’re trying to emulate.
Don’t tell them that it’ll be almost impossible to have the kind of career that includes not only most made threes of all time but most games with 10 or more (22), most from 27-feet (703), seven seasons with the most threes as well as the record for most in a season of 402 and the most in finals history (470).
Oh yeah, and the Warriors won the game over the Knicks 105-96. Curry top-scored with 22 points and filled out the rest of the box score with three rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and an all-time record.
Steph Curry hugs Ray Allen after breaking his three-point record ???? pic.twitter.com/XsKci7cmLv
— NBA TV (@NBATV) December 15, 2021