BY: KWAME FISHER-JONES
It has been three years since the Davidson guard, Stephen Curry, set the basketball world ablaze. Frankly, it has been three years since anyone has cared about the Davidson guard who set the world a buzz.
Golden State Warrior fans will call him a tweener or an enigma, but truth be told, to this point Stephen Curry has been a tremendous bust.
Now one may pardon his bustivity because of injuries, lack of stability in the Warriors front office, or playing out of position. Simply put, a loser always has an excuse and a winner always has motivation. Curry has failed to turn the Warriors into a competitive team yet alone a playoff contender.
At this point Curry’s development has gone from stagnant to nonexistent, which is a far cry from the player who looked destined for stardom in the 2009 NCAA tournament.
The current evidence suggest the guard will be an injury prone player, with no definitive position, but who can shoot. Championship player he is not, quite frankly contributing member of a playoff team, he is not.
Drafted at seventh overall in the 2009 draft, Golden State needed more from the NCAA Tournament sensation.
The Warriors needed a difference maker. The Warriors needed the cat who led four rec league players deep into the NCAA Tournament. Golden State needed the almost 30 point a game scorer with unlimited range, yet what they got was a player who can shoot.
Could it have been that the bar was set too high for Curry and the expectations far exceeded the talent? After all there is a major discrepancy from a top five player and a top ten player. In fact, since the 1990 NBA Draft only two players selected seventh overall have played in an All-Star game, Luol Deng and Richard Hamilton. So perhaps Curry is right where he should be a solid contributing member to an average ball club.
Maybe, the Warriors guard has overachieved and he is just another a college player who teased us with improbable play. Yet, what do we make of what was witnessed in the Tournament. It is illogical to think a player who was so dynamic at one point is nothing more than an adequate role player at this point.
Where does that play in the evaluation?
Average players do not lead suspect players to NCAA Tournaments and get those same suspect players to produce at a high level.
Furthermore, an average player does not lead a sub-par team to record wins in back-to-back seasons. Somewhere along the line Curry has either regressed in Golden State or just managed to go “whammy free” while at Davidson.
Regardless, of what Curry was, at this point he is a disappointment.
The guard’s spectacular play in college has not transferred to the league and now Golden State privately has to be wondering what to do. Three years have passed, and while Curry is not the sole reason for the Warrior’s strife, one would have hoped by now he would have been the sole reason for a few conquests.
Since being drafted Stephen has started a total of 174 games and the Warriors have won 71 of those games. Again the guard is not responsible for all of those losses. However, would it not be rewarding to say he was responsible for some of the wins?
There are several different ways a guard can control a game.
The first facet would by a combination of scoring and facilitating. This type of play usually results in what is commonly known as a double-double. If we evaluate Curry using this metric system he falls short, again. The guard has amassed 20 double-doubles………in his career.
Safe to say playmaker he is not.
Another way to control the game is by applying pressure on the defense through scoring, in a Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant type of fashion. Now Curry is definitely not of that ilk, but how about at a Gilbert Arenas, Mack Calvin, or Gail Goodrich fashion. All were combo guards who could score, and found ways to contribute to the win loss total of their clubs. After all it was the guard’s scoring that set him apart from the other players in the draft. Yet, Curry’s penchant for scoring has not followed him to the league. In his career he has only 79 games with 20 or more points, that is not the make-up of a prolific scorer.
The final way Curry can impact a game is decision making and controlling the flow, which would result in a high assist rate. Curry’s assist numbers are decent per average, but are not game effecting. Now based on the numbers alone he is a decent player, not a game changer.
A decent player is not what the Warriors signed up for.
Golden State was expecting the shooting enigma to lead them out of the depths of despair. The Warriors' blog refers to Curry as a franchise cornerstone, even today, despite his inconsequential play.
When the guard was drafted phrases like “great addition”, “outstanding fit”, and “possible star” were used to describe Curry. Now the conversation has shifted to should they extend the projected cornerstone? This is a far cry from where he started.
The Warriors have not had an All-Star game participant since 1996. That streak appeared to be over with the acquisition of Curry, yet here we sit 16 years later and counting. Any hope of the guard reaching that aforementioned All-Star level should have given way to the cold reality that he never will.