Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza
Throughout the 2014-2015 season, Stephen Curry, basketball player of the United States team and NBA Golden States Warriors, has established himself as the best guard and shooter in the world, with a decisive contribution to the United States victory during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 and the present NBA regular season, where his top-notch playing level, wise steering of the team and leadership in crunch time, are helping the Warriors to turn into one of the most powerful franchises of the NBA.
A player featuring huge class, exceptional technique and arguably the man with best dribbling and ball handling in NBA, as well as possessing a lethal medium and long range shooting which make him an amazingly accomplished sniper, particularly in the crunch time, watching Stephen Curry in action is a real treat for any basketball lover.
In a competition like the NBA, bountiful in players boasting a brutal physical level in terms of power, jumping ability, exceedingly swift speed in the fast break, colossal strength in 1-on-1, tremendous rebounding capacity in both zones, preservation of identical athletic performance during the four quarters of the games and it all being complemented by rather good basketball skills and remarkable scoring giftedness from different positions like LeBron James (2,03 m and 113 kg, with athleticism more reminiscent of an olympic decathlete), Stephen Curry (1,91 m and 86 kg) epitomizes the magic, the fantasy, the filigree, the elegance, the incredible plays once and again, the unbelievable assists, the stratospheric 3 pointers deciding games in key instants, the dribblings breaking his defenders´ waists with a wide assortment of fakes, trajectory shifts and sensational ball bounces in full sprint, the behind-the-back passes to the centers and power forwards best located in the rival paint, the alley-hoops and a boundless catalogue of resources arousing the excitement of the audiences.
Stephen Curry in high gear during a fast break. The attacking creative flair at full steam displayed on court by the guard of the U.S team and the Golden State Warriors, adapting himself to the different men he faces, is really stunning, being able to solve the plays by himself or managing to spot his best placed teammates to assist them, because he´s likewise an outstanding lineup player who has always made grow the men within the squads he´s taken part in.
Stephen Curry is a top-drawer attacker excelling both at his playing vision and his steady ability to become a machine gun with his deadly outside shots, being also able to drive to the rival hoop through lightning penetrations.
Besides, the unpredictable nature of his decisions, fraught with brainstorms, turns him into an extremely difficult to stop man in 1-on-1, since he successfully finds brilliant solutions even under the pressure of the toughest defenses, either scoring galore or distributing the ball with fluidity taking advantage of his excellent court vision and passing instincts.
And his formidable shooting, featuring exceptional accuracy and a very fast throwing mechanics, is a constant threat, also having a nose for steals.
Stephen Curry´s improvement since he started his path at Davidson University (in which he played during the 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, averaging 25.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, becoming top scorer of NCAA with 28.6 points per game throughout his last year there, in which he also attained the three pointer shots record of the competition in one year, with 162, being subsequently chosen by Golden State Warriors in the seventh position of the 2009 NBA Draft), has been awesome, fully integrating himself into the Oakland team and ripening into a fundamental part and franchise player.
Though he hasn´t won any NBA ring yet, he´s already achieved a number of important feats during his six years trajectory as a professional player:
- Winner of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Turkey 2010, held between August 28 and September 12 of that year, with the United States team coached by Mike Krzyzewski.
- 54 points and 11 three pointer shots on February 27, 2013, during the NBA game Golden State Warriors-New York Knicks held at the Madison Square Garden of New York.
- Record of 3 pointers nailed throughout a season in the whole NBA history: 272, attained during the regular season 2012-2013, beating the previous 269 record by Ray Allen achieved with the Seattle Supersonics in 2005-2006.
- Winner of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Spain 2014, held between August 30 and September 14 of that year, with the United States team coached by Mike Krzyzewski.
- Winner of the 3-Point Shooting Contest Title during the NBA All Star celebrated in New York on February 14, 2015.
Stephen Curry belongs to the breed of legendary NBA artist guards on the court (lacking extraordinary athleticism and featuring a height under 2 meters, but being geniuses of basketball and preeminent interpreters of the showtime, also boasting an awesome gift to thoroughly read the tempo of games and carry the team on their back in the decisive moments) started by Bob Cousy during fifties, followed by Oscar Robertson throughout sixties, Pistol Pete Maravich during the first half of seventies and continued later by other great playmakers like Isiah Thomas, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and others.
In addition to his progressive increasing performance as both playmaker and shooting guard depending on the games circumstances throughout his six seasons in Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry´s evolution as a player has even been more fostered thanks to the teachings imparted to him by the United States team coach Mike Krzyzewski (under whose orders he played the FIBA Basketball World Cups Turkey 2010 and Spain 2014), who has known how to infuse him with defensive mentality and utmost effort in specific stages of some important games, like in this play in which he begins the fast break after stealing a ball.
Throughout this NBA 2014-2015 season, Stephen Curry has made till now a lot of superb performances with which he´s in a position to turn into MVP and is already considered by many experts as the best sharpshooter in the history of this sport.
April 23rd, 2015 updating.- Stephen Curry hits an incredible 3 pointer with two defenders on him (Anthony Davis - 2,08 m and 100 kg- and Tyreke Evans - 1.98 m and 100 kg), forcing the overtime in the third NBA Playoff game Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans, which would end with victory for the Oakland (California) franchise 123-19, after recovering a disadvantage of 20 points during the fourth quarter previous to the extra time.
May 5th, 2015 updating.- Stephen Curry is named MVP of the NBA 2014-2015 season, followed by James Harden (Houston Rockets) who was second and LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers) who occupied the third place. Curry was presented with the trophy by the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver a few minutes before the beginning of the game Golden State Warriors-Memphies Grizzlies.
May 24th, 2015 updating.- A simply stratospheric Stephen Curry scores 40 points (including seven 3 pointers) in the third game of NBA 2014-2015 semifinals against Houston Rockets during the 80-115 Golden State Warriors victory at Houston Toyota Center, beating the NBA History record of 3 pointers shots in playoffs with 64 in 13 games and overcoming the previous record of 58 3 pointers in 22 games attained by Reggie Miller during the 2000 playoffs.
June 16th, 2015 updating.- Stephen Curry proclaims Champion of the NBA 2014-2015 after defeating Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in the last match of the NBA Finals 2014-2015
A Genius of Basketball Wins His First Ring after Epic 2015 Playoffs and Finals
© Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza