Is The NBA ‘Watered Down’ Like Tracy McGrady Says, Or Is Steph Just That Good?

We have an early leader in the clubhouse for the hottest take over Stephen Curry’s MVP award. It comes to us from Tracy McGrady, who during an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump said that Curry winning the award unanimously is a testament to the watered-down nature of the league.

“For him to be that first play to get this unanimously, I think it just tells you how watered-down our league is,” McGrady told Rachel Nichols and Pablo Torre.

McGrady’s proof for this is that when guys like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal won the award, they were doing it against better competition in the form of more superstars (which is apparently something quantifiable in the eyes of McGrady). He also pointed out that there were fewer teams in the past, which helps water down the league, before saying that Curry totally deserved to win the award, because sure.

This is a weird take, and the kind of take that we always hear out of older players in an attempt to glorify their halcyon days by claiming that the league was tougher in the past. The thing that has made Curry so great is that the league has some guys who would be outstanding players no matter when they play, and he still finds ways to casually torch them. This isn’t an indictment against anyone past or present, it just shows how insane of a basketball player Curry is.

McGrady is entitled to his own opinion. This is one of those topics that is, for the most part, subjective, so McGrady can say whatever he wants. So while you may think that the reason Curry is so good is because he had a 50/40/90 season and is the best shooter of all-time and is able to pull up off of the dribble in a way that the league has never seen before and his ability as a passer and ball-handler is something that would confound any defender who has ever played in the league, McGrady can say that the league is watered down in an attempt to prove a weird point. Whatever.