Steve Nash knows a thing or two about shooting.
The future Hall-of-Famer might be best known for his otherworldly vision, but what made him a two-time MVP is the combination of that passing flair with world-class shot-making ability. Nash’s four seasons of at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent from the free throw line, after all, are the most in league history. Second-place Larry Bird only accomplished that incredible feat on two occasions.
When the pride of Canada offers his opinion on marksmanship, then, it’s smart to take him seriously. And like so many players past and present, Nash believes Stephen Curry is in a class of his own.
Via Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, below is Nash on whether or not the 27-year-old has already cemented himself as the greatest shooter ever.
“The only pause I have is from fear of being ignorant,” he said. “Am I missing someone? Does he need to play longer or do it longer? Does he have to do it in the playoffs more years? But my first reaction is, ‘Why not?’ He’s as good as anyone I can think of on every level—pure shooting, array of shots, percentage, getting hot, plays to the end—he checks all the boxes.”
Nash is right. The only thing that could keep Curry from already being considered the best shooter of all-time is a lack of sample size. Can the MVP keep up this incredible pace? He’s shown no signs of slowing down since emerging as basketball’s preeminent shot-maker in 2012-13, and his game stands to age with grace. Barring injury, Curry will be splashing with aplomb for close to a decade beyond these NBA Finals.
We’ve considered Curry the greater shooter ever since last season. There’s simply never been a player in basketball who shoots with such ease and accuracy off the dribble, a trait that Nash explains clearly separates Curry from himself and so many others.
“Steph takes it to another level,” Nash said. “I was able to do it going left and right, and we can both do it at speed, but I was always trying to get to the three-point line. He can do it from deeper and, frankly, I never took a step-back. He has no trouble taking a step-back and making it. You add that to all the other shots. It could be a clincher in this game of deciding who’s the best.”
Then there’s this: Curry’s effective field goal percentage on catch-and-shoot jumpers in the playoffs is a scintillating 73.5. The guy can truly do it all as a shooter.
This sport has never seen anything like him, either… not even Nash.
[Via Bleacher Report]