Is Steph Curry a Hall of Famer right now?

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Is Steph Curry a Hall of Famer right now?
October 31
01:00 2019

Recently, Michael Jordan had an interview where Stephen Curry’s name came up. During the interview, Jordan said “he’s no Hall of Famer yet, but he is still a great player.” That quote by Jordan has sparked plenty of debates on the national stage, so I figured I would weigh in on the conversation.

Curry took the high road with his response to Jordan’s comments. In an interview, Curry said, “I think I’m good, but then I’m never complacent,” he told Full Size Run’s Matt Welty during an interview for Sole Collector. “I know I have more to prove to myself. When you hear a guy like that who’s the greatest of all time, it’s kind of funny. Since we’ve been on this stage, we’ve heard a lot of retired guys chiming in on this generation of basketball player and evaluating talent and saying their generation was better and all that. It’s a great conversation for the fans to get in on. I know I’m in good shape for that, but I still have a lot to prove to myself.”

There have been two trains of thought on Jordan’s comment. The first was that Jordan was speaking literally in that Curry is not a Hall of Fame player due to him not having the credentials yet, while others took it figuratively in that he was saying Curry is not a Hall of Fame player because he is still in the league. I tend to lean toward the latter.

Let me begin by saying I am a big Steph Curry fan, but I am very critical in my critique of players when it comes to the Hall of Fame for any sport. It’s not called the “Hall of Very Good,” it’s the Hall of Fame, meaning the best of the best.

In my opinion, if Curry never dribbles another basketball in his career, he has done enough to warrant serious Hall of Fame consideration. I don’t, however, feel he is a first ballot Hall of Famer at this point in his career, though. He is entering his 11th season in the league and has truly been playing on this high level for six of those years. Injuries and fine-tuning his craft really held him back his first few years in the league.

He has many of the credentials we look for in a Hall of Fame player. He is a six-time All-Star, led the league in scoring once (2015-16), led the league in steals once (2015-16), three-time NBA champ, six-time All-NBA and a two-time MVP (the first unanimous MVP in league history in 2015-16).  

All those accolades warrant Hall of Fame inclusion, but not first ballot yet. The Hall of Fame is for great players who have sustained excellence over a prolonged period of time, barring injury. Curry has stayed relatively injury-free since he had his ankle problems earlier in his career.

I think Curry is a great player, but I do feel people kind of elevate him higher than where he really is when it comes to best players in the league right now. Granted, he is the greatest shooter this league has ever seen, but he has been afforded the luxury of having great players to play with. And when he hasn’t had his full complement of players, he hasn’t always been the best player on the floor.

I am not bashing him, but let’s be honest. The one award missing from his mantle right now is an NBA Finals MVP. His first opportunity to grab finals MVP was snatched by Andre Iguodala. The Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in that series and the Cavs were outmatched playing without All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, losing in 6 games in 2015.

The next year the Warriors set the record for wins in a season with 73. They went into the Finals as the favorite in a rematch with the Cavs and took a 3-1 in the series. They lost that series, becoming the first team in NBA history to lose in the Finals up 3-1. As a side note, the Cavs had Love and Irving back for this series.

The next year they added Kevin Durant and won the title both seasons, defeating Cleveland 4-1 and 4-0, respectively. And of course, Durant was named Finals MVP for both seasons.

I said all of that to say, if he is a first ballot Hall of Fame player, he would have captured at least one Finals MVP during that span. Once again, this is not a knock on Curry; I just think when he doesn’t have his full complement of teammates or is faced with an equal opponent, he doesn’t always shine as the best player on the floor.

I am excited to see where he can take his team this year without Durant, who was traded to Brooklyn, and without an injured Klay Thompson. Many are not even picking them to make the playoffs this year, but I think they will. I am looking forward to seeing if he can single-handedly will his team through the season. Then he may change my mind about his status in the league and his first ballot potential.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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