Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is arguably the best player in the NBA right now. Slender and unassuming, he is on his way to winning his second consecutive MVP award, leads the league in offense categories and is a rare gem to the NBA for his extreme likability, charm and charisma. As a result, Curry has attracted a following from around the NBA, Oracle Bay Area Arena and national viewership. He is remembered for his agility to drive to the basket and finesse when shooting three point shots from the stratosphere.
In spite of these virtues, Curry has rivals, competitors and naysayers. The following lists (in no particular order) the top 15 people who dislike Stephen Curry for various reasons of their own choosing. They either want to make Curry’s greatness fade in the background of the media, erase his accumulated touted statistics or eliminate Curry and his Golden State Warriors from contention.
There are many who have reason to dislike MVP contender Curry, for obvious reasons - he's too good. His offensive play is uncanny. And his stamina over the course of this 46-4 start is unparalleled.
If he is able to lead the Warriors to a record-winning season and win the MVP back to back, we will not revere Gordon Hayward's performance this year, or Damian Lillard's or Rudy Gay's. Michael Jordan will be a mere hallmark of the past. Scottie Pippen's memory will collect dust. We will turn our glance away from Philidelphia 76ers' mismanaged front office. Donald Trump, should he win the nomination for the Republican party, will barely be remembered as an outside businessman candidate who would become the first American president in history to have a net worth of 4.5 billion dollars. Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs will be forgotten as having another great but not unbelievably good season. Former and current Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant, D'Angelo Russell and Dwight Howard will, sadly, not be given the credit they're due this season.
None of these great athletes and organizations like Steph Curry. But Curry will derive satisfaction in all of this hysteria of dislike. As Albert Camus might have written in the final line of the myth of Sisyphus, Steph Curry will be imagined to be happy.
15 Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward and the Jazz are straddling the line between being in playoff contention and being forgotten for the '15-'16 season. His all-star performance and outstanding shooting percentage is overshadowed by Curry and the rest of his starting five rotation including Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodola, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut. Hayward has led the Jazz to seven straight wins, recently beating the Dallas Mavericks 121-119 in overtime. If Hayward could speak to Stephen Curry he would politely ask him to allow the opposition to win a couple of games, so that he could finally be on the front cover of the Salt Lake Tribune.
14 Damian Lillard
Averaging 24.3 points per game, point guard Lillard has led the Trail Blazers to be aligned one and one half games behind #8 Utah Jazz. Lillard was the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and has lived up to his expectations as a versatile point guard who could make his presence known on the League's scoring leaders. Lillard is also a candidate for the the Rio 2016 USA Olympic Games, indicating that he is in approaching the prime of his career. Curry and Lillard could be friends, but no such possibility of friendship can exist because Curry's unprecedented greatness is making Lillard envious of the attention from the Northwestern state of Oregon.
13 Rudy Gay
Drafted 8th overall in 2006, Gay is averaging 17.9 points per game, with the Kings resting at the 10th seed with 21 wins and 31 losses. Recently, the Kings had been struggling losing their last five games in a row until Gay led the Kings to a victory scoring 30 points in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Gay is also being considered as a competitive free-agent for teams to ponder. As a result, all of the attention that is normally due to Gay when a player reaches his free-agency vanishes because Curry's highlight reels loop endlessly on cable TV's Sportscenter.
12 Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan’s 95-96 season, where the Bulls went 72-10, enshrined his legacy and net worth of his Nike shoes and Hanes underwear clothing businesses. While Jordan is long removed from the almost 20 year anniversary of creating an incredible record in the NBA annals, he is watching closely and would rather have it that Curry does not lead his team to a 73-9 season or a 76-6 season. Indeed, Jordan's fame has reached the zenith of being written about in ways that seem un-newsworthy, such as how he reacted to a crying meme relating to his reaction to his induction in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. If Michael Jordan would like to file a lawsuit against anyone for infringement or otherwise, it would be against the League allowing Stephen Curry to become the prime focus of media attention since last October.
11 Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen has been hidden from the media, conspicuous in his absence from ESPN and color commentary appearances on nationally covered NBA games. But this does not mean that the potential ruining of his 95-96 season, in which he contributed to a championship winning team, isn't cause some displeasure to the Chicago Bulls savant. If Pippen could make an appearance in a sports interview on TV or radio, he would speak with flattery of Curry's performance this year, but this flattery would mask Pippen's fervent desire to have his outstanding career placed at the forefront of the public's attention.
10 Philidelphia 76ers Front Office
The least interested party in this dispute is the front office of the 76ers, who are competing for the worst record in the NBA. A Curry led victorious season and record breaking performance night after night only serves to exaggerate the woeful performance by the 76ers and mismanagement by GM Sam Hinkie. Members of the 76ers front office would mope about how their team's lackluster performance highlights a need for a new coaching strategy and roster rotation. Instead, the media is only focused on Curry and his historic race to break decades-old wins records.
9 ESPN Statistics Research Department
It is overwhelming to compare previous seasons given the numerous scoring records that have been broken. The archivists and statisticians are combing through vast records to cull and tally the number of records shattered and the expectations in the archive of historical parallels that have been defied. If there is anything a research staff member would want to say, it would be that Curry should lessen his competitive drive to avoid having to meet the demand of constantly compiling statistical research linking his play to the greats such as Jordan, Abdul-Jabar and Kobe.
8 Donald Trump
Donald Trump tweeted that the Super Bowl was boring and not worthy of media attention, but was merely a diversion, emphasizing his double digit lead against Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in the New Hampshire primaries. What irks Donald Trump the most is sporting events that demand national attention to detract from a much maligned second place, or in Trump’s words, “losing” finish to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Iowa Causes. Trump would want Curry to be a loser, if only for one game, so that he could claim victory. If his latest victory in New Hampshire has any importance, it is that Trump needs to be in the spotlight of all competitive events, whether about politics or professional sports.
7 Lebron James
Seeking to bring a title in the Eastern Conference, as he attempts to be compared to MJ with three MVP awards, it is not hard to imagine that King James has dreams reminiscent of the Dwayne Wade commercials of losing in the playoffs. Except these dreams are probably real. Not to mention that James will face Kobe Bryant for the last time this season, an event that will not be as dramatic as hoped given Curry's surge. Though perhaps used to deflect media attention from his greatness, James still is going through the grieving process of "denial-anger," as many say he is still recovering from the 2015 Thanksgiving-themed game loss against Curry and the Warriors.
6 Gregg Popovich
His team is in second place behind the Warriors and will have a hard time in the playoffs against them, and their accomplishments seem diminished despite their win/loss ratio of 44-8. Notorious for his wry answers to the press after wins and losses, "Pop's" response to Curry would stretch his wryness to extreme heights. Popovich would be taciturn, but his body language would insinuate a dissatisfaction with the way his overall defensively and offensively strong Spurs match up against Curry and the Warriors, who best the Spurs with three more wins.
5 San Antonio Spurs
Their season does not seem as great as it is due to Curry’s contributions to the Warriors' offense. The Spurs are in second place and are still recovering from a loss to the Clippers in the first round from the 2014-15 season. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge have been spectacular this year, yet these statistics are remarkably overshadowed by one person, Steph Curry.
4 Kobe Bryant
Attention is taken a way from Kobe’s final season and his intermittent contributions to his team. Bryant has worked his entire career earning championships and MVPs, Olympic gold medals and All-Star Awards (even when his performance in his final year wasn't better than other NBA players in the league). Yet, despite this, the 2015-'16 season will be remembered for Curry's magnificence rather than Kobe's.
3 D’Angelo Russell
The better that Curry does, the less noteworthy rookies from the 2015 draft seem, such as D'Angelo Russell who was the Lakers's 2nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Averaging 12.2 points per game, Russell's game has improved since the beginning of the season, but that improvement is, again, overlooked by Curry and the Warriors defiance of expectations and achieving new records that will likely only be beaten by a future Curry-led Warriors team.
2 Chris Paul
Chris Paul has been consistently good this season, shooting just below the .460 mark from the field. His number of assists over the course of his career has been 7,387, which is on pace to secure a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame when Paul retires. Yet the speedy, sharp-shooting point guard, like many, is overshadowed by the large shadow of greatness cast down by Curry.
1 Dwight Howard
Holding onto the seventh seed in the Western Conference is akin to holding a rope being tugged by body builders in the opposite direction by the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers. Howard and the Rockets have to hold this rope, so to speak, if they want to continue to play into the post-season months. Curry, it might be said, is at the other end of this rope, pulling Howard into the mud of the non-playoff contention teams.