Steph Curry is the most popular player in the NBA. His jersey sales are through the roof, he got the most votes for the All-Star game last year, and he’s the best player on the best team (a team that also gets enormous amounts of publicity). His style of play isn’t just absurdly effective, it’s fun. He launches three-pointers from every location and every distance, rabbits between defenders on his way to the rim, and generally just makes all-around improbable shots.
Given his style and popularity, how long will it be before young players everywhere try to emulate him, much as the previous generation tried to emulate Michael Jordan? Jason Kidd thinks we’re already at that point, as he told reporters after his Bucks handed the Warriors their first loss of the season.
Picture it: an AAU game of 13-year-olds where the only shot is a 28-foot three-pointer off the dribble. Sounds awful, right? Well, let’s not panic just yet. Coaches probably won’t allow their players to shoot without consequence, and I think we can trust kids to be smart enough to realize that they can’t all be Steph, no matter how hard they try.
Let’s also not lose sight of the fact that there are so many other stars in the NBA that Curry isn’t the only role model. There’s Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and, oh yeah, LeBron James. There’s an incoming flux of star power, too, from Karl-Anthony Towns to Kristaps Porzingis to Ben Simmons. They may not be as popular as Curry, but they may appeal more to a certain type of kid – maybe the 6’6 13-year-old, or the kid who simply wants to go against the grain.