Sorry Steph Curry fans, but The Boston Globe’s godfather of basketball, Bob Ryan, explains here why today’s NBA is unwatchable:
He’s a scourge. He’s a menace. He should be placed under house arrest.
Who’s saying that? Who is saying those inflammatory things about the most popular basketball player in the universe? Who would dare blaspheme Stephen Curry, the idol of untold millions of basketball enthusiasts?
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I am, you see, 100 percent 3-point-phobic. I truly believe the 3-point shot is the single-worst thing to happen in basketball during my lifetime. It has distorted the game at every level.
Of course, there could hardly be a more minuscule minority viewpoint on any subject in sports. The overwhelming percentage of basketball fans adore the three. When they see Curry attempt 17 of his 19 shots from behind the arc against the Trail Blazers, as he did last Wednesday night, they do not see it as I did, which was an abomination. They see it as lovable, adorable Steph being Steph.
The three has been with us since 1961, when Abe Saperstein introduced it as a gimmick to impress casual fans of his short-lived American Basketball League. It was then taken up by the Eastern League, when it was the second-best basketball league on earth. It was an obvious stunt, to go along with the red, white, and blue basketball, for the American Basketball Association when it began play in 1967. It was brought to the NBA for the 1979-80 season and into college basketball in 1986-87. So if you are 30 or under you know nothing else. You don’t recall when basketball was, well, basketball and not a nightly contest to see which team can clang more stupid shots than the other.
There have been previous 3-point notables, including our own Larry Bird, who used it as a strategic weapon better than anyone in his time. Ray Allen is likewise remembered with great fondness in these here parts for his expertise shooting threes. But no one has become more closely linked with the three than Curry, and that includes his 3-point partner in crime, Klay Thompson.
What Mr. Curry has done is expand the concept of a legitimate, makeable three. He can shoot it with remarkable accuracy from three? four? five? however many feet beyond the arc. If he crosses midcourt with the ball, you’d better get your hands up. You think people haven’t noticed? Trae Young, for one, is likewise doing it. The problem is that, as it is in so many other aspects of athletic life, some people are simply better than others. No one is going to out-Curry Curry, and that includes Young. But they will try, and we will see more teams shooting 5 for 32 from beyond the arc, rendering the game more and more unwatchable. Worse yet, we will see more college and high school kids hoisting threes, as if that were the only way to, as they quaintly say these days, “score the ball.” Curry’s influence is that profound.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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