At some point after the Golden State Warriors received their fourth NBA title in eight years and Steph Curry was named NBA Finals MVP, you’d suppose all the speaking heads within the media who had forged some fairly heavy doubts on them must flip their scripts.
However a have a look at the completely different morning sports activities debate exhibits highlighted that, to some, Curry nonetheless wasn’t adequate for no matter lofty and shifting requirements they’ve.
On his Undisputed present on Fox Sports activities 1, Skip Bayless didn’t even need to give Curry credit score for his Sport 6 efficiency, the place he led all scorers with 34 factors and added seven rebounds and 7 assists.
“I’ll say Steph was good final night time,” Bayless stated. “I received’t even go to excellent.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) June 17, 2022
Bayless additionally stated Curry is “a fantastic entrance runner” — one thing he had to verify individuals knew was a praise. However he firmly believes that Curry doesn’t “have a clutch gene.”
“When he will get you down, he’ll shoot you proper out of the gymnasium. If he smells blood, he’ll pour it on,” Bayless stated. “However it’s not 50-50 blood, it’s while you’re front-running. It’s while you’re stepping on throats.”
Bayless additionally ranked his High 10 NBA gamers of all-time and didn’t embody Curry in there, one thing his fellow Fox Sports activities colleague Nick Wright additionally agreed with. He has Curry twelfth on his record and argued closely towards him being ranked above another all-time legends, like Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, Invoice Russell or Shaquille O’Neal.
However extra so than his colleague Bayless, Wright can acknowledge that Curry is, in actual fact, within the dialog of all-time greats, and this Finals efficiency was transcendent for the person who wears #30.
“I do suppose this removes any potential, ‘Yeah, however’-s from Steph’s resume,” Wright stated on First Issues First on Friday. “Steph already had a singular, unicorn resume – biggest shooter ever, biggest small man ever … and probably the most selfless teammates ever, as he demonstrated by inviting Durant to his metropolis … to win titles.”
“This removes any potential ‘yeah, however’ from Steph’s resume. Steph had his biggest Finals ever. He knew he wanted this efficiency and he delivered it — and that’s the way you change into one of many pantheon all-time biggest gamers ever.”
— First Issues First (@FTFonFS1) June 17, 2022
However this? Wright — who, it needs to be famous, just lately was a visitor on “The Lightyears Podcast” with Sam Esfandiari and Andy Liu and praised Curry effusively — believes this was Curry’s “biggest Finals ever” and has left little question on his resume.
“He knew he wanted this efficiency, and he delivered it,” Wright stated. “And that’s the way you change into one of many pantheon, all-time biggest gamers ever. He already was in that room, now nobody can ever kick him out of it.”
That tone shift from Wright was taking place over on ESPN, too. Kendrick Perkins had been casting doubt on Curry and the Warriors for years now, together with making a hand gesture final August to point he thought the Warriors would win zero titles throughout Curry’s four-year extension. Curry remembered the gesture.
Stephen Curry hears every part pic.twitter.com/dYv2U2HvnQ
— Sam Hustis (@SamHustis) June 17, 2022
Perkins, a former Celtic, was effusive in his reward for the Warriors on First Tackle Friday morning, saying the Warriors have constructed a basis that’s probably unparalleled.
“While you speak about constructing from the bottom up, while you speak about Draymond Inexperienced being a second spherical choose, while you speak about plug-and-replace — going from Harrison Barnes to Kevin Durant to Andrew Wiggins … that goes to indicate you concerning the tradition,” Perkins stated.
“The tradition of the Golden State Warriors is likely one of the biggest cultures I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, in my NBA lifetime. I believe they’ve one of many biggest cultures in NBA historical past.”
A championship id? 🏆 @KendrickPerkins thinks so.
“While you speak about having one of many biggest cultures of all time, the Golden State Warriors have that.” pic.twitter.com/sZe48YXA17
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 17, 2022
Perkins usually debates on First Take with Stephen A. Smith, who has been one of many largest believers within the Warriors among the many nationwide media. Even again earlier within the playoffs, Smith thought the Warriors would win “a number of” titles going ahead.
Smith’s been saying he believes within the Warriors all season lengthy, and a title is just validating his feeling on this workforce — each within the current and sooner or later, as he predicts Golden State will go back-to-back.
“This time subsequent yr, Steph Curry will surpass LeBron James and he could have 5 ‘chips. He’ll tie Kobe Bryant. He’ll cross Shaquille O’Neal,” Smith stated. “I’ll let you know why: Steph ain’t gonna fade. The brother’s in form. I don’t understand how he does it — I’ve bought to seek out out about his weight loss plan, I actually need to seek out that out, as a result of the brother’s performing some issues on the market. He has extra vitality than brothers 10 years youthful than him.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 17, 2022
However maybe nothing Smith stated hits more durable on right this moment, the day after Curry received his first Finals MVP trophy, than what he stated again on Could 6 about Curry’s legacy.
“He can win a Finals MVP and there are nonetheless gonna be those who have questions on his legacy,” Smith stated on First Tackle Could 6.
After what his former First Take co-host Bayless needed to say about Curry on Friday, it’s that assertion — and never the title declaration — that feels probably the most prophetic from Smith.