Today is a day that ends with the letter y, which means that some NBA legend is going to have a strong opinion on the legacy of Golden State star Stephen Curry. The latest person is Dirk Nowitzki, who like Curry is considered a sharpshooter the likes of which the NBA has never seen before. While Curry is a deadly marksman from behind the arc with handles the blow guys like Allen Iverson away, Nowitzki revolutionized the power-forward position as a seven footer with unlimited range.
ESPN caught up with Nowitzki and asked him about Curry before the Mavericks hosted the Warriors on Friday night, a game that Golden State won, 130-112. Like a number of other people who have been asked about Curry, Nowitzki stressed that he’s blown away by Steph.
I mean, I don’t think this league has ever seen anything like it. His range is basically as soon as he crosses half court. He’s making shots look routine that no other player can even make in practice consistently. He just makes it look effortless. He just kind of goes up from the dribble in one motion, doesn’t waste any effort there. Incredible.
He’s so much fun to watch. When he’s in the zone, I catch myself screaming at the TV, ‘Shoot! Shoot!’ as soon as he crosses half court. It’s so much fun to watch.
Nowitzki also has an interesting theory on why people enjoy Curry so much. Curry is, relative to the rest of the NBA, a smaller guy – he’s listed at 6’3, 190 pounds, so when he’s standing next to most other dudes on the court, he looks diminutive. To Nowitzki, that makes Curry relatable to fans.
You know, we’ve had some great athletes and specimens in this league, but that’s not him. He’s a smaller guy. Obviously, he’s quick, but the way he makes it is with skill. That’s why everybody is rooting for him, because everybody can relate to him.
There are a bunch of really great tidbits in this interview, including Nowitzki comparing elements of Curry’s game to elements of Steve Nash’s game and Dirk’s thoughts on how Curry impacts the ways that teams play defense.