Stephen Curry sparked significant debate on the timeline on Monday when a quote of his from a podcast with Gilbert Arenas went viral. Appearing on Gil’s Arena, Curry was asked by Arenas if he was the greatest point guard ever. After a moment’s consideration, Curry said yes and that it’s really him and Magic Johnson in the conversation.
Here’s the full clip.
Near the end Curry acknowledges that he basically has to say yes when asked that question, with the implication being that it’s impossible to reach the heights he has without believing with every fiber of his being that he is the very best at what he does. So he did not intend to spark off the sort of legacy GOAT conversation that drives studio show conversation for months on end. It’s a prime example of the mindset that is a prerequisite to becoming an all-time great.
But he started the conversation anyway, so let’s discuss. Is Stephen Curry the greatest point guard ever?
As is always the case with NBA legacy discussion, what side you come down on depends largely on how old you are and how you define “greatest of all time.” As someone who missed the NBA’s Magic/Isaiah/Stockton era, I would probably agree that Curry is the GOAT point guard. He has the accolades, the stats, the record-breaking achievements, and a cultural impact upon the game of basketball that few before him have been capable of. Without spilling another few thousand words, that is what it takes to be a GOAT in my mind and he checks every box. Of course, the same can be said about Magic, and there is a strong argument to be made that his degree of cultural impact was greater given when it arrived.
Personally I think what speak to Curry’s status in the history of basketball is that he has transcended positional greatness. He is simply one of the greatest players of all time and it is impossible to dispute that. It is one of the things that the true greats throughout history share. Nobody is debating Shaq’s place among the all-time center rankings. He is simply one of the best ever. Curry is in the same category and once you reach that level the rest is largely semantics that fuel meaningless discussion to occupy our idle minds when we’re bored.
So I do not have an answer for you. But feel free to embrace debate!