Sports media mogul Bill Simmons of The Ringer has his share of hot ideas and out-of-the-box theories about sports. He can also be an obnoxious Boston Homer. However, he wrote one of the definitive books on basketball history (Basketball book). As such, his views on the past, present and future of professional basketball cannot be ignored. That’s why it’s so remarkable that after the Golden State Warriors won the 2021-2022 NBA title, Simmons included Stephen Curry in his top 10 pantheon of NBA superstars of all time.
Stephen Curry is one of the best NBA players of all time.
Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors defeated Bill Simmons’ favorite team, the Boston Celtics, in six games to win the 2022 NBA Finals. This gives Curry and the Warriors six Finals appearances and four NBA championships in eight years.
In this last series, Curry averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists while shooting 43.7% from three-point range. And while the overall numbers are fantastic, the timing and frequency of big shots throughout the series has been incredible.
Not bad for a skinny Davidson kid.
In terms of all time, Curry also received his first NBA Finals MVP award. This is a big deal when compared to the legends of the game. Finals MVP is the last major award Stef didn’t have in his trophy case.
At 34, Curry is now one of the most decorated players in the game. In addition to his four titles and new Finals MVP, he also has eight All-Star appearances, eight NBA Game nominations (with five on the first team), two scoring titles, and two NBA MVP awards.
With three or four good years to go (maybe more with his shooter skills), how does that put Curry on the list of the best players in NBA history?
Bill Simmons says Steph is now firmly in the top 10, ahead of one well-known former teammate.
Bill Simmons moved Stephen Curry into his all-time top 10 after the last Golden State Warriors title.
In my podcast Bill Simmons PodcastAfter Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Simmons informed his friend and frequent visitor Joe House that Stephen Curry was now in the top 10 of his “pantheon” of the greatest players in NBA history.
Prior to the 2022 NBA Finals, Simmons said on the May episode of his 2021 speech. podcast that Curry was the 16th best player in history. However, this changed after game 6:
I think he’s in the top 10 for me right now. … I put him behind the next six guys that I think he jumped over now. Great Moses Malone. Shaquille O’Neal. God bless Shaq, but his disadvantage was the last four minutes in a close game. … It hurts, Hakim Olajuwon. … So I passed it [Oscar] Robertson and [Jerry] West and then [Kevin] Durant because Duran never did it. You can’t put Durant above Curry. Durant was never definitely the best player on the team that was built around him.
Bill Simmons on Stephen Curry
Simmons also noted that Durant had a chance to be in a superstar who led his team to a championship in 2016 with the Oklahoma City Thunder and again with the Brooklyn Nets in the last two seasons but “didn’t make it.”
Durant fans find this hard to believe. They look at the 7ft (come on, he’s not 6ft 10in by any means) superstar with all his incredible skills and numbers to back it up and can’t imagine what a 6ft 2in, 212lb Davidson player could be better than their hero.
However, Simmons is right about this. Curry is the best player of all time right now. He’s also right about nine players ahead of him.
Bill Simmons is one of the top 10 players in the NBA Pantheon.
Bill Simmons moving Stephen Curry into his top 10 pantheon players in the NBA is a big deal. Simmons is a true basketball historian and he absolutely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to these ratings.
The nine players that Simmons is ahead of Curry are:
- Michael Jordan
- LeBron James
- Bill Russell
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar
- Magic Johnson
- Larry Bird
- Tim Duncan
- Wilt Chamberlain
- Kobe Bryant
This is a great list that does a good job of representing the best players in the NBA. You can bet whether LeBron James really deserves to be number two right now, or that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson might be a little taller and Tim Duncan might be a little shorter.
Overall, however, this is an excellent list that is hard to argue with.
Simmons says Stephen Curry is no longer arguing about him versus Kevin Durant. Now Curry vs Kobe Bryant. Although The Ringer founder says he “likes what Steph brings more,” he still gives the No. 9 spot to Bryant for what Joe House calls his “willpower.”
GOATS in all sports is one of the best conversations and the main reason we all love sports so much. When a player takes a big step up to the top tier with a big title win, it’s important and special.
That’s exactly what Curry did by winning his fourth NBA championship this season.
All statistics provided Basketball Handbook
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