THE most electrifying man in sports-entertainment

It’s not like Michael Jordan or Dominique Wilkins, flying through the air with the greatest of ease.  It’s not Wilt or Kareem or Shaq wading through the lane like kaiju to attack the hoop.  Steph Curry is 6-foot-3 and weighs a buck-ninety. He rarely dunks, and when he does he barely dunks. I mean, I’ve got over thirty pounds on the guy and only give away an inch of height. And in a way that’s what makes this year amazing: nothing he does wouldn’t theoretically be possible for any high schooler of decent size who just lived in the gym and shot and shot and shot and shot.

Nothing he does is in any way precedented.  There have been great three-point specialists in the modern era, but Craig Hodges and Reggie Miller and Ray Allen tended to catch and shoot. I can’t think of any jump-shooter who created jump shots off the dribble thirty feet from the basket. And that’s the killer with Curry: his quickness and handle are so good that if you face-guard him, he’ll wrap around and slide by you before hitting a pull-up dagger. And if you play off him so he can’t go by you…he’ll just spot up and let it fly from damn near anyplace over the half-court line.  More than once this season, with the game clock below 2 seconds, he’s brought the ball over half-court, stopped and set himself, and let one go from 40 feet if it’s an inch…and knocked it down.

No one’s ever done that. Nobody. There were guys in the pre-3-point era who could just stroke it from a distance, like Pete Maravich or Oscar Robertson, but were they intentionally firing from thirty-five and hitting it routinely? I’ve been watching pro basketball off and on for over twenty-five years, and I’ve never seen anything like what Steph is doing night in and night out – right now, it’s the greatest show in sports. Nothing compares right now, and I can’t remember the last thing that did.

And that’s a good thing, because I need pro basketball to take the edge off the college game right now. More about that when I stop being mad.

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