Just picture it. The crowd is silent as a man in a fire-engine red No. 23 jersey settles into his defensive stance, watching the every move of a smaller, slighter player clad in blue and gold, with No. 30 on his back and a chip on his shoulder. It’s Michael Jordan versus Stephen Curry -- who’ve ya got?
It’s the NBA hypothetical du jour, as the Golden State Warriors continue to slash through the record books with Curry leading the charge. While the jury may still be out on that question, waiting to see how the Golden State point guard ages, ask Curry who would win with the game on the line and he’ll give you a clear, definitive answer: himself.
In an interview with Sam Alipour this week, Curry discussed the recent comparisons between his Warriors and Jordan’s Bulls, a who’s-better debate that’s heating up as the notion of Golden State challenging Chicago's all-time win-loss record becomes increasingly realistic with every game played.
In terms of who would come out on top, Chicago or Golden State, Curry was quick to hedge -- “It's hard to compare the teams,” “it’s an impossible debate,” “we want to keep getting better” -- but in terms of who would best the other, him or Jordan, in the contest's final moments, Curry was just as quick to provide the play-by-play of how exactly he would beat No. 23.
“Right to left, step back. I knock it down,” Curry said, referencing a move he executes and a jumper he hits virtually every night these days.
That’s a striking prediction when you remember that Jordan has been considered untouchable for about two decades now. But Curry went even further, questioning even Jordan’s seemingly innate ownership of the title of Greatest Of All Time.
“It's a high mountain to climb, but I'm pretty motivated to take on the challenge,” he told Alipour. “Whatever that means, however you got on that mountain, why not try to climb it? … Why else would I be playing [if not to try to top Jordan]?”
“You want to be the best you can be. And if the best you can be is better than him, then why not?” he added.
Claiming yourself to be better than or simply in the same conversation as Jordan is effectively blasphemous in certain NBA circles. But if anyone could get away with it right now, it’s this guy: the man with the handles and the jumper, No. 30 in blue and gold -- reigning MVP Stephen Curry.
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