It's funny how fast people forget about greatness. One year after being a first-team All-NBA selection, two years after winning his third NBA title, four years after winning his second straight NBA MVP award, and people are already acting like Steph Curry is a relic of the past.
Kenny Smith was the latest to fall victim to this trendy trend, saying on TNT last night that he doesn't think Curry can shoot as well from deep as Dame Lillard. Curry laughed it off on social media, but I'm genuinely ready to die on the Steph-Curry-is-a-better-deep-shooter-than-Dame-Lillard hill. Quite frankly, I feel I have the high ground.
Dame Lillard is the "it" man in the NBA right now. Skip Bayless latched onto him and is getting more attention because of the hate he's spewing. LeBron James said he's one of the best and most underrated players in the NBA just before the Lakers lost to the Blazers in Game 1. Lillard is torching defenses and was named NBA Bubble MVP. In the words of Mugatu, Lillard, so hot right now.
But while it truly is Dame Time at the moment, let us not forget who paved the way for Lillard and perfected the art of the logo shot. It was Curry, who was stepping into shots just over half court when Lillard was still trying to break a 40 percent shooting percentage from deep, which he just did for the first time this year. Steph has done that every year of his career except this past injury-shortened season.
Want some more stats to back up my point? Steph is a career 43.5 percent shooter from deep. Dame shoots 37.3 percent. Steph averages 3.6 made threes per game. Dame averages 2.9. The same is true in the playoffs, where Steph averages 40.1 percent from deep and 4.2 made threes per game versus Dame at 35.6 percent and 3.0 makes per game. I couldn't find any stats in regards to percentage or makes from the logo, but in his career I'm giving Curry the edge because he was doing it before Lillard.
This isn't to say Dame hasn't closed the gap on Steph in terms of prolific shooting from deep. It's to point out that the argument of who is a better deep shooter isn't an argument. It's Steph by a mile. Need further proof? Just watch this compilation of him shooting from deep.
Lillard is the on fire right now and I don't want to take the focus off that. But saying the pupil is a better shooter from deep than the master is like saying Darth Vader is a more powerful Jedi than Obi-Wan Kenobi. And as Obi-Wan famously said to Vader, "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Watch out for Steph in 2021.