Stephen Curry is arguably the greatest shooter in NBA history.
However, Portland Trailblazer Damian Lillard — perhaps the only other player in the league currently who teams fear and respect from behind the arc the way they fear and respect Curry — said that argument is already over.
Lillard visited the Dan Patrick Show last week, when he shared exactly what he thought of the Golden State Warriors’ sharpshooter in a historical context.
“I think Steph is the greatest shooter of all time,” Lillard said flat out.
The compliment was genuine, though could also be viewed as slightly backhanded. Lillard took a small, possibly unintentional, dig at Curry’s athleticism to highlight his tremendous accomplishments as one of the most lethal shooters ever.
“I mean, usually when you got an NBA superstar, (it) is somebody with great gifts. God-given things, 6’6″- 6’7″, super athletic,” Lillard said. “Then you have guys that just work on it, guys who just make themselves what they become, and I think that’s what Steph is a product of. A guy that’s 5’9” or 5’10” could follow what he does and have a chance.”
Lillard Went Past Calling Curry Greatest Shooter Ever, Heaping Praise on His Rival
Lillard was not finished with his praise for Curry after merely knighting him the top 3-point shooter since the game of basketball was invented.
He went on to compare Curry to greatest point guards ever, saying that most people, if asked, would likely slot the Golden State Warrior as the second-best point guard to ever lace them up. Lillard placed Curry behind just one Los Angeles Lakers legend.
“It depends on what you’re going off of. You know the quality of the player … if you just line these two guys up, or what has this person accomplished in their career,” Lillard said. “Steph has two MVPs, a unanimous MVP, back-to-back titles, three total titles. The resumé is there.”
“So I think if you ask 10 people, seven of them or eight of them would probably come back and say Steph is right behind Magic (Johnson) — the way he’s changed the game (and) the excitement with his style of play,” Lillard continued.
Curry has Consistently Gotten the Better of Lillard Head-to-Head
Lillard is widely considered one of the best guards and players in the NBA. The six-time All Star has been a prolific scorer across his nine seasons in the league, posting a career scoring average of 24.6 points per game.
Under Lillard’s leadership, the Blazers have also been a perennial playoff team, on track to qualify for their eighth consecutive postseason appearance. However, over the last half decade, another familiar pattern has emerged — the Blazers meeting the end of their campaigns at the hands of the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors have gotten the best of Lillard and the Blazers in three of the previous five postseasons, including series victories in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in 2017, the Western Conference Semifinals in 2016, and the Western Conference Finals in 2019.
Very few have seen Curry up-close and personal through so many difficult defeats, lending Lillard’s opinions considerable credence as they regard Curry’s place in NBA history. And in any case, Curry has several seasons remaining to solidify his resumé as both one of the best shooters and best point guards to ever grace the game.