Stephen Curry is widely considered to be the greatest shooter in NBA history, which is a claim that he’ll likely continue to prove as his career unfolds. He’s still only 29-years-old, and historically, good long range shooters don’t see their play drop off as they age as much as other positions. Ray Allen, for example, continued to shoot very well as he approached his forties.
Curry is also one of the most popular basketball players in the world, and one of the winningest too. He has won two NBA championships in the past three years, and the Warriors are once again the team to beat this year. He won back to back MVP awards, and has set an incredible number of records in shooting categories. His coach, Steve Kerr, has said that Curry is the most impactful player in the history of the NBA, meaning that defences have to adapt and focus more on Curry that they have for other player he’s seen. And that’s saying something considering that Kerr played alongside Michael Jordan for years.
There’s no doubt of Curry’s on-court talent, but still a whole lot of people can’t stand him. Some retired NBA stars think that his long range shooting prowess has been bad for the league overall. Fans of opposing teams find it annoying that he plays on an essentially unbeatable team, and that the league is worse off with the lack of competition this causes. Some people don’t like the ideas of his silver spoon upbringing, and others just find his personality annoying. Here are 15 notable people who hate Steph Curry:
15. LaVar Ball
It’s impossible to get a sense of how LaVar Ball really feels about Steph Curry because LaVar Ball is never sincere. He says whatever he thinks will get the most attention and reach headlines, and there is a definite disconnect between what he says and what he really thinks. But all we have to go by is his words. And he likes to say that his son, Lonzo Ball, is a better basketball player than Steph Curry. Lonzo Ball is not a terrible player, and he’s having a decent rookie season, but there is no comparison between the two players, and for LaVar to suggest that they’re even in the same conversation is laughable and shows some major disrespect to Curry. Again, Ball obviously knows that his son is nowhere near Curry’s level, but even to suggest that he is to get attention indicates that he doesn’t respect Curry enough to tell the truth.
14. Metta World Peace
Metta World Peace is not a full-blown Curry hater like some others, but he has claimed that he hates Steph Curry and the Warriors because he “hates good teams.” That seems to be what lays at the base of a lot of people’s Curry-hating. Much like with Tom Brady, it’s annoying to see the same guy win over and over again by huge margins. It’s refreshing for World Peace to admit that the basis of his not liking Curry lays in the fact that he’s a competitive guy who doesn’t want to lose under any circumstances. Metta World Peace kind of disrespected Steph Curry in a backhanded way in 2013, referring to him as “Steve Curry” in a tweet for some reason. He claimed that he called him Steve because there’s a V in Steve and in MVP, which is ridiculous.
13. David Nwaba
The animosity that surrounds these two players is kind of centred around a single incident, which you can watch here. For context, it was the end of a pretty ugly first quarter of basketball between the Warriors and the Bulls. After being scored on, Curry ended the quarter by throwing the ball at Nwaba’s back, instead of looking for a teammate to pass the ball to. The Bulls’ bench immediately got involved, and it was seen as as a disrespectful move by Curry, who is a few years older than Nwaba and way more accomplished. Would he have thrown the ball like that at LeBron or Westbrook? Probably not. Steph Curry defended the play though, saying that it was the smart way to close out the quarter and not a sign of disrespect.
12. Scottie Pippen
It’s pretty common for retired NBA all-stars to disparage the Warriors. A lot of former greats seem not to be able to get down with their style of play, which is largely based on shooting a high volume of threes. Scottie Pippen’s analysis is definitely valid, too; he has won six NBA championships, and played on some of the greatest teams in NBA history. He’s a commentator for ESPN now, and during last year’s NBA Finals, he said that Curry is not the best player on either the Warriors or the Cavs, and that he’s not a dominant player. It’s hard to see how he could think that a two-time MVP could not be a dominant player, but I guess what he means is that Curry doesn’t bring the same kind of physical dominance to the court as guys like LeBron and Durant, both of whom Pippen feels are much better than Curry.
11. Dahntay Jones
This is a little bit like the case of LaVar Ball, where a guy who would otherwise be a nobody says things that even he knows are ridiculous in order to get media attention. Dahntay Jones was a serviceable NBA player who seems to be retired now. He is famous for having been fined more for technical fouls in his limited time on the court than he made in salary last year, although LeBron James apparently stepped up and paid his fines for him. Anyway, Dahntay Jones made headlines when he said that Steph Curry is not a top ten player in the league. According to Jones, Curry comes in around the 11-12 range overall in the league. It’s hard to tell whether he’s salty that his team lost to Curry’s Warriors in the finals, or if he really doesn’t think the greatest shooter of all time isn’t in the league’s top 10 active players.
10. The Entire Thunder Fanbase
Regardless of what team they support, most fans of the NBA in general are able to put aside their biases and appreciate Steph Curry for what he is: an immensely good shooter, a great ballhandler, an innovative playmaker, and a general showman with a flair for the dramatic. But I doubt there are many Thunder fans who can watch him play without seeing red. It was the Warriors beating Durant and the Thunder a few years back in the playoffs that led to Durant leaving the Thunder. So even though it’s kind of indirect, Curry is responsible for Durant leaving, and the more rings Durant racks up alongside Curry, the more worse it’s going to continue to feel for Thunder fans. Since that trade, the Thunder have obviously restocked their roster and are a contender from year to year, but seeing Durant join forces with the enemy and turn that into success will never stop stinging.
9. Charles Barkley
Sports talk shows are weird in that certain commentators don’t even care whether they’re right. For any point that one guy makes, another guy will always be prepared to argue against it, with a spirited argument making good television. Charles Barkley plays that kind of devil’s advocate position all the time, aggressively defending the opposite of common sense arguments. As such, he has often slagged the Warriors and suggested that Curry isn’t as good as people think. When asked about this, Curry said that Barkley is always really nice to him and his family in person, and that his television personality is a character he does in order to get views. It’s pretty mature of Curry not to take Barkley’s words personally and to be aware of the difference between good television and real life; I’m not sure that I would be able to brush that kind of constant trash talk aside.
8. Chris Paul
There’s a new biography out about Steph Curry that outlines some of the disdain that other top NBA players have for him. It seems to be largely based on media attention that Curry recieves. Curry started out as a skinny, baby-faced guy who wasn’t threatening to anyone. He looked up to Chris Paul, modelled certain aspects of his game after Paul’s, and was motivated to become better than him. And then, quickly, he did start putting up better numbers than Paul, winning more games than Paul, and the media attention shifted so that Curry was framed as being easily the world’s best point guard, when only a couple years earlier it may have been Paul. Back in 2011, there were rumours that the Warriors were looking to trade Curry to New Orleans for Paul, and Curry said that he was flattered to be considered a good trade for Paul. It’s amazing how fast he was able to leapfrog such players in stature.
One of the things that people don’t like about Curry is that he’s a pretty corny guy. Part of this may be because of the way he was raised. As the son of a former NBA star, he grew up pretty wealthy, surrounded by famous NBA players for much of his young life, and had access to the best in basketball training and coaching. This is pretty different from guys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who grew up solidly lower-middle-class, and are more in tune with how regular people leave. Steph showed his corniness by releasing some of the lamest sneakers ever. They look more like nurse’s shoes than basketball sneakers, and people bought them because it’s funny how ugly they are. These very bad shoes kind of blew it for Curry in the eyes of sneakerheads. Though nobody would really want to wear these, they may have collectable value one day because they drew so much media attention when they were released.
6. Dennis Rodman
You’ll notice that a lot of former Bulls players don’t like all the Curry hype. That makes sense, because the Warriors are always being compared to those amazing ’90s Bulls teams, and at a certain point, if the Warriors keep stringing together championships, they’ll have to admit that the comparison is valid. Dennis Rodman is not a person whose opinion we should put great stock in, even though he was a great player. He thinks it’s cool to hang out with Kim Jong-un, a reviled dictator. His relationships have been a mess, and he’s always saying something crazy to get attention. Rodman famously said that if Curry was on a different team, he would suck, and that the best player on the Warriors is Klay Thompson. That’s certainly a controversial opinion, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one.
5. Reggie Miller
People ask Reggie Miller to weigh in on Steph Curry a lot, which makes sense. Before Curry came around, Miller was largely considered to be the best shooter of all time. Both of them have a flair for the dramatic, and both are extremely competitive without being overly physical. Reggie Miller was also known for trash talking a whole lot, and being a hothead. He does not think Curry is the best shooter ever; he gives that honour to retired Czech player Dražen Petrović, who he says had a better, faster release. He also said that, when he was at his peak, he was a better shooter than Curry is now, although his form wasn’t as nice. He also said that all the great shooters are extremely confident in themselves, and that you have to believe in yourself excessively to become one of the best in the world.
4. Nike Executives
Steph Curry is one of the world’s most famous and heavily marketed athletes, so it’s surprising that he doesn’t have an endorsement deal with Nike or Adidas, to whom most of the world’s most famous athletes are signed. The story of Curry and Nike is weird. He signed with Nike when he first entered the league, which makes sense because around three-fourths of the players in the NBA have deals with Nike. However, in a meeting to extend his deal, Nike executives pronounced his name wrong and had the wrong name on their powerpoint slides, leading Curry and his dad into thinking that they weren’t taking him seriously. He signed with with Under Armour instead and increased the company’s value by $14 billion. Nike executives have been shaking their heads ever since.
3. The Entire Cavs Roster
What’s worse than getting beaten easily in the NBA finals in five games? Watching the guy who beats you shimmying around, dancing on the court after making long threes, almost clowning around on the biggest stage in basketball with his mouthguard hanging out of his mouth. The rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors has been great for the league, and there’s no reason to think that they won’t meet again in the finals quite a few more times while LeBron James, Curry, and Kevin Durant are in their primes. This year, the Cavs have actually been looking pretty shaky in the regular season, and the Warriors will probably come out on top again. And that’ll just make the Cavs even madder. There’s nothing like a bitter rivalry to bring out the best in elite athletes, and the Cavs sure hate losing to Curry.
2. LeBron James
In the last few days, news has emerged that the Golden State Warriors could potentially trade for LeBron James. Here’s one article about how it could happen, and here’s another. It’s a ridiculous idea really, and would destroy any semblance of competition left in the league. It is hard to think about James and Curry existing on the same team, even though James has been lavish in his praise of Curry in the past, once saying on Twitter that he had never seen someone like Curry in the history of watching basketball. Still, the way that James gets fired up against the Warriors is a clear sign that, while he respects Curry as a basketball player, he can’t stand him, and especially can’t stand losing to him.
1. Donald Trump
It’s truly a sign of the bizarre times that we’re living in that the person who hates Steph Curry the most is the president of the United States. After winning the NBA championship last year, the Warriors decided not to visit the White House in protest of the policies of Donald Trump. Trump then tweeted that he was rescinding the offer, after Curry had already turned it down. Trump was widely mocked for the move, which was plainly petty. LeBron James stepped up in Curry’s defence, making the obvious point that you can’t un-invite someone from something that they already turned down. It’s a stark contrast to President Obama, who is a lifelong basketball fan, actually has a decent jump shot, and is widely respected by players in the NBA. Though Trump is one of Curry’s greatest critic, it’s doubtful that Curry would want to be liked by Trump.
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