Why Stephen Curry (Not LeBron) Is the N.B.A. Player of the Decade


The New York Times is reflecting on the past decade in the N.B.A., which has evolved perhaps more than any other major sports league.

The choice for the N.B.A.’s player of the decade came down to just two superstars — Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

After all, if it wasn’t Curry holding a championship trophy in recent years, the expectation was that it would be James instead. Nine of the decade’s N.B.A. finals featured at least one of them, and their teams claimed six of the championships. They won half of the past decade’s Most Valuable Player Awards. If one of them wasn’t on national television on a given night, then the other one was. With the previous generation’s biggest stars fading, they boldly staked their claim to the spotlight.

But when it came to picking the player of the decade, our writers’ decisions were pretty clear.

Kevin Draper

Sports business reporter

LeBron James was undoubtedly the best player of the decade, but Stephen Curry defined it. Writing about the 3-point revolution has become stale and trite, but Curry really did change the game. It was not all that long ago that shooting pull-up 3s, or shooting from more than a foot or two behind the arc, was verboten. But Curry and the Warriors redefined what needed to be defended, warping and breaking defensive schemes in the process.

Oh, and he also won three championships, two M.V.P.’s and led the Warriors to the best regular-season ever in 2015-16. Let’s not talk about what happened next.

Shauntel Lowe

N.B.A. editor

It feels weird not to pick LeBron James here, what with him being the best player in the world and all, but Stephen Curry was the defining player of this decade. No one changed basketball the way he did, and no one captivated the world as he did. Suddenly, here was a player for whom there was no such thing as a bad shot. That’s not true for anyone besides Curry. He’s the one.



Sahred From Source link Sports

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