Stephen Curry is on the cusp of passing Ray Allen for the most 3-point shots made in NBA history. Classified as a point guard, Curry is already top three at his position all-time in the eyes of most that follow the NBA. Portland Trail Blazers first year head coach and former NBA Finals MVP Chauncey Billups recently heaped more praise on the future Hall of Famer.
“I always say, to me, they have these lists of who’s the greatest this — I think he’s the greatest combo guard to ever play this game. I don’t think he’s a point guard, two-guard, he’s just a combo guard, and he’s the greatest to ever do it at that position.”
It’s tough to argue coach Billups’ sentiment about Curry because most of the top guards of today are combo guards. Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Donovan Mitchell, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, etc. As Billups mentions, these players might be listed as point guards, but all of them have primarily been score first guards or combo guards. And of the crop of small/combo guards over the last decade, Curry is by far the most accomplished. His shooting expertise alone places Steph on a level that none of the other guards of today can touch.
The NBA has a long history of tremendous guard play, and many of them were what we now call combo guards. Players like Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, and even Oscar Robertson are considered combo guards for their eras.
Much of this current generation of NBA “point guards’’ didn’t play the position until they entered the NBA. Many of them played shooting guard/off guard/two-guard or whichever designation you’d like to use for the position. And like Curry, most of them are only classified as point guards in the NBA because of their small stature. But they can all handle the rock, distribute, and most importantly, buckets are on-demand like Comcast.
Looking back at the greatness we’ve seen from different guards over the past few decades in the NBA, it’s hard to dispute Billups and his assessment of Curry. He just keeps racking up the accolades as his career progresses. Curry is already the best shooter we’ve seen in the NBA, and now he may just be the best combo guard of all time as well.
If Steph can add another MVP award, championship, or Finals MVP (his first), there will no longer be a conversation about whether he’s a top 10 player all-time. Should Curry accomplish two of the three, I think it will be hard to deny his spot among the 10 greatest players in NBA history.